Year End Guest Post from Kristal Jabara Council Member City of San Marcos
Twelve months, 365 blank days, to accomplish boundless aspirations. As a child this seemed an eternity, but to this “forty something” it is but a moment. And with the close of one year and the anticipated beginning of another, there is renewed faith that the goals set will be achieved with great triumph.
In the past I measured the success of a year with how many items were scratched off the list of goals or slid over to the subsequent year. But that simple formula is no longer effective and new factors must be added to measure success. I am hoping to have a new equation by which to measure, by the time I complete my first term. For now, reflection has to be the measuring stick of success, and as I examine, I see substantial achievements for our city.
A balanced budget was passed. This may seem simple, but I am sure there are numerous cities with this as number one on their holiday wish list. The first project in the University District broke ground, while other projects were finished up, some of which were recognized for their ingenuity. And just this month the city council passed new labor contracts that will close a multi-million dollar budget short-fall that the city was facing in 2013. With the hard work and concessions made by our employees, the city budget will realize immediate savings. And, while children are snug in their beds with visions of sugar plums dancing in their heads, this council person dreams of approvals and permits to begin the long anticipated Creek District, which will provide our city with a quaint downtown atmosphere.
About the time I put the finishing touches on my goals for 2012, I learned of our city manager’s April 2012 retirement. I never thought I would see the day that the woe and worry of tax time would be replaced with a more looming charge, finding a new city manager. And, just in case the seriousness of this task might have been lost on me or my colleague’s, people have chosen to point out that this decision will be the single largest decision a council has had to make in the last several decades.
So now I am back to work, creating a new set of goals for 2012. Good thing my preferred tool, when writing, is a pencil; maybe erasers should be added to my Christmas list? But, even faced with this daunting task, I take comfort in knowing I am not alone in this undertaking. There are four others embarking on this mission. With every vote I cast it becomes much clearer why councils should always be plural and never singular. And, though we don’t always agree, I am so very grateful to be making decisions with people who think differently than I. Within that one simple truth lies a diversified decision-making body that has combined experiences and ideas that cannot be held by just one person. And with that fact I am able to have confidence that the appropriate person will be selected to administer the daily operations of our city.
I end this year by wishing each and every person holiday blessings and the hope for a prosperous New Year! But remember as you are commissioning your 2012 “to do” list, I beseech you to use pencil.
City of San Marcos