Learn from the past, look to the future

Here we are in the midst of the 2009 holiday season and nearing the end of yet another year. Traditionally, the winter holidays bring us together with our friends, family and community to celebrate and reminisce about the past year.

Two special events held last week, Carnivale on Cedros and the city’s annual Holiday Tree Lighting, gave our community the opportunity to celebrate the spirit of the season. The South Cedros merchants hosted the carnival, and the tree lighting event was orchestrated primarily by our City Parks and Recreation Commission, along with many community volunteers. At both events, there was an overall abundance of joy expressed by lots of smiles, friends and neighbors conversing, laughing and enjoying the entertainment, all of which reminded me how thankful I am to live in such a great community!

During the holidays, we also tend to reminisce and make plans for the future. For most of us, the nation’s economic downturn made 2009 a challenging year. It was a year of adversity and adjustment for our country, our state and our city. No public entity was left unscathed. To compensate for our city’s reduction in revenues, we made appropriate cuts in our expenditures, all without compromising the health, safety and welfare of our residents. Our city remains strong, and we are optimistic that next year will be better for everybody.

As we head into 2010, I encourage us all to keep in mind what we have learned from our struggles over the past year. Let these experiences constructively shape our views of life’s priorities: family, friends, community, good health and happiness. Moving forward, let’s look for new opportunities to cultivate our personal and professional relationships, and let’s keep our focus on a positive, prosperous and healthy new year for everyone in our city, state and country.

Lastly, this is also the time of year when the City Council transitions to a new mayor for the upcoming year. It has been an honor to serve as mayor of Solana Beach, and I wish to express my sincere gratitude to those who entrusted me with this position. I greatly enjoyed the work, relished the challenges and learned much from the experience. Thank you very much. I wish you all a safe and prosperous new year.