Hopes for the new year

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By Optic Editorial Board

With a new year, hopes run high that things can and will get better. In that vein, we offer here some community wishes for Las Vegas in 2012.

It would be nice to see moisture, all year long, but not so the city can become complacent in its efforts to develop a secure water supply — not just for today but 20 years down the road. Las Vegas needs other sources to offset its dependence on the Gallinas River, and it needs to stop the leaks in the dam and the pipes. In 2012, the city could take a big step forward, or backward, depending on its leadership at City Hall.

In that respect, if the political prognostications are correct, we’ll see a new mayor and two new council members elected in March. We hope they will be elected because of their credentials, not their connections; for their veracity, not their rhetoric; and for their practical visions, not their pipe dreams. And once they are in office, we hope they’ll look beyond their term in office, and past the next election. We need elected leaders who will think about tomorrow today.

And while we’re at it, we like to hear more talk about the consolidation of the two school districts. Eventually, it will have to happen, so why not figure out the best way to do it as a community, without the state having to step in?

Add to that our hope for a community that builds its own future. For the most part, this is an inclusive populace, which understands the values of family, community and identity, so we need to determine our own destiny in a way that’s consistent with sound principles.

Wouldn’t it be great if Las Vegas could come together for its own good every now and then?

We would like to see old animosities set aside for the greater good. And maybe a little less hand-wringing and a little more definitive action when it counts. Unified action won’t come through kumbaya moments that we dream up, but Las Vegas does need a starting point, a place where enlightened self-interests actually gain traction. We wish for a fresh perspective on what’s best for Las Vegas as a whole, rather than the same old factionalism that only provides us with tunnel vision.

Of course, whether we step forward or fall back in 2012 depends on the choices we make. It also depends on not letting anyone else make those choices for us.

And finally, we’d like to see expectations raised. That’s a good place to start out the new year — expecting better days ahead.