While the gifts of the Magi more than two millenniums ago might have inspired the tradition of giving each Christmas, this year – in particular – is one hurting for pure and unselfish sharing. We’ll take the opportunity to tune out the harsh pronouncements and overheated rhetoric to offer gifts we hope will be unwrapped in days ahead.
For motorists: A wise transportation funding plan from state lawmakers – one that will ensure smoother roads, safer bridges and less congestion for decades to come.
To area businesses: A prosperous new year.
To Indiana children and teachers: A new emphasis on the joy of learning, unburdened by endless drilling, testing glitches and scoring fiascoes.
For Hoosier voters: A kind and gentle election season, free from name-calling and harmful innuendo and absent of out-of-state influence.
To the Northeast Indiana Regional Development Authority: The wisdom and skill to administer the Regional Cities funds to their best advantage.
To the arts community: Continued success in growing Fort Wayne’s thriving arts environment and in persuading policymakers that the arts are a key factor in retaining and attracting millennial workers.
To City Controller Pat Roller: A well-deserved break from the city’s financial challenges as she retires after 12 years on the job. She leaves Fort Wayne in stronger fiscal health than many other Indiana cities.
To IPFW: More autonomy and strength from the school’s new designation as a metropolitan university. The authority to develop new degree programs that will serve both students and the region represents a gift for years to come.
For public discourse: A year without hurtful and damaging conversation on topics guaranteed to elicit strong views. Debate over religious freedom and civil rights protections can be conducted in such a way as to avoid drawing any more unfavorable attention to Indiana; decisions about a downtown arena for Fort Wayne can be made without frightening away prospective investors in the central city.
For the Mad Ants: A successful D-league affiliation with the Indiana Pacers. The response to the Pacers/Hornets preseason game at the Coliseum and early performance by a rookie – appropriately named Rakeem Christmas – are encouraging.
For all Hoosiers: Improved health and fitness. Indiana’s bottom 10 ranking among states for measures that include obesity, smoking, physical inactivity, low birth-weight infants and more could be improved with some work.
To our neighborhoods: A growing sense of community and the resources and support to make all areas of the city attractive to residents.
For everyone: A gentle winter, early spring, long summer, colorful fall and – for 2016, at least – a white Christmas.