Our View

Our predictions for the region, 2009

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As we bid farewell to 2008 and welcome 2009 with open arms — and, hopefully, fuller retirement portfolios — we look to that time-honored tradition of New Year’s resolutions to guide us into the new year. While losing a few pounds would be nice and world peace remains a worthy pursuit, let’s get practical and look around. There are plenty of local resolutions we’d like to see kept in 2009, including: •Assemblyman Ted Gaines will leverage his new position as Assistant Republican Leader to help break the state budget impasse. While this partisan position promotes the values and policies of the GOP caucus, it would serve him — and California — well if he could lead a workable compromise to the state’s short- and long-term fiscal needs. Budget reform is noble, but so is keeping California out of bankruptcy court. •The historic Auburn Courthouse will reopen for trials, and the swallows won’t mind the upgrades. •With Home Depot, Costco and Trader Joe’s on the way, big-box retailers will join small businesses in celebrating the “Think Auburn First!” campaign. TAF must gain traction, not only as a slogan but as an actual movement in consumer spending, hiring and marketing. Auburn will truly benefit. •Placer County Office of Education will take a leadership role in a study of school district unification, vs. the current model of multi-district administration. Up to now, interest in such a study has been lukewarm at best, but with every dollar scrutinized it makes sense to see if public education can be more efficient. •A well-reasoned decision will be made in charting the future of wastewater treatment in Auburn and east Placer County. A rate agreement, with some form of annual increase limitation, will be forged allowing current residents to support the sewer solution now while planning prudently for the future. •Folsom Lake will fill up with precious rain and snow runoff, allowing the region to avoid further water restrictions. Meanwhile, residents and businesses alike will reduce their water use, and low-flow toilets and native landscaping will again be part of the growing green movement. •The Western States 100-Mile Endurance Run and Tevis Cup century saddle-up will return to international acclaim after being smoked out by forest fires last summer. Breathe deep. The foothills will enjoy much cleaner air in 2009. •The Black & White Ball will find the new digs at the Gold Country Fairgrounds to be just as magical as the streets of Downtown Auburn — and a lot safer. •New Placer County Supervisor Jennifer Montgomery will hit the ground running, providing a Tahoe-area perspective on natural resource issues and adding much-needed balance on development issues throughout the sprawling county. •Placer High’s football team will return to the Sac-Joaquin playoffs with confidence their storybook run in 2008 launched a new era in Hillmen football. •The Reno-Tahoe Winter Games Coalition will gain support for hosting the 2018 Winter Olympics, with all eyes set on the October selection of Chicago for the 2016 Summer Games. If Chicago fails in its bid, momentum will build for the Winter Games to return to the Sierra. •Thanks to the efforts of local restoration volunteers, salmon will return to Auburn Ravine. What predictions do you have for the community in 2009? Go to this story on and share your thoughts. Happy New Year!