As the calendar switches from 2012 to 2013, it's a time for reflection.
We take time for personal reflection on the year that was, remembering family and friends, the good times we shared, the bad times, the losses, the highs and the lows.
A new year brings with it a desire for a better life, a better world, a better community.
As a community, we faced numerous challenges in 2012 - challenges that we overcame and conquered and challenges that we have yet to vanquish.
After a hotly contested municipal election in late 2011, 2012 brought our first full year with many new faces at our government tables.
Many in our community were seeking change when they went to the polls in 2011 - and change they certainly got in 2012.
To say things were challenging for our area politicians in 2012 would be an understatement. The issues they faced are too numerous to mention in this space, but suffice to say we have some obstacles to overcome.
It's very easy to sit back on the sidelines and throw stones, to launch negative criticism without suggesting a plausible and constructive solution.
We should be able to have debates and discussions without disrespect. We should be able to have discussions based on facts, not fiction. We should be collectively seeking to solve problems not add to them.
Many of our community challenges might seem daunting and insurmountable, but everything starts with a thought and an idea.
Our hope for this year is that, through the help of the community, our politicians find their way through these complicated and divisive issues. And we say with the help of the community because we are all in this together. Yes, we elect politicians to represent us and look out for our interests, but there are many great ideas, many knowledgeable people who can assist our politicians for the collective good.
Despite our community challenges, looking out at the world and the problems many other communities and countries are facing, we really don't have it that bad.
We didn't face a natural disaster in 2012. No storms destroyed homes, businesses and lives. The end of the world did not occur as predicted by the Mayan calendar. We're all still here, working for the betterment of our own lives, the lives of our friends, family and community.
And looking back in 2012, we did a lot of good in this community. Many wonderful events happened, many people did admirable things, but we all can do better. Time for a fresh start and a better year ahead.
Happy New Year and all the best to you and yours in 2013.
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