Reviewing 2013 with an eye towards 2014
The end of the year always means that pundits will want to review the past year and make predictions for the coming year.
Why would I want to be any different?
So, let’s take a trip back in time to the beginning of 2013.
We had a new governor at the helm. Selected on the basis of the fact that he was a Democrat, he had no experience in management and it showed. He faced a legislature three-quarters controlled by his own party but a couple of conservative members joined with the Republicans to control the Senate. The fight was over the budget, money for education and money for transportation.
2013 was an election year for local offices. Democratic women swept two incumbent males out of office. They took control of the Thurston County Auditor’s office which had been controlled by the Republicans for more than 30 years. And, environmentalist Sue Gunn beat Jeff Davis for a Port of Olympia seat.
Several new people took over important jobs in our community. Jill Barnes took over as the new director of the Washington Center. Intercity Transit’s new general manager is Ann Freeman Manzanares and Thurston County’s new manager is Cliff Moore.
In 2013 we opened a new permanent homeless shelter – – saw the price of a new family home in Olympia climb by $5000 – – and lost a good friend when the Olympia Oyster House burnt to the ground.
Local government in Olympia took a long view on protecting us. They passed a plastic bag ban – – passed rules forbidding coal trains from coming through the city – – talked extensively about global warming – – and tried to get more money to protect our view of Budd Inlet.
What do I see ahead for 2014?
More of the same. More efforts to get more money from the taxpayers,
The legislature will raise the gas tax – – Intercity Transit will ask for a sales tax increase – – local school districts will ask for millions for new construction – – your sewer and water bill will climb – – and you will continue to elect the same old people who will continue to raise your taxes.
That’s what you have to look forward to in 2014.