Crossing the 't's' on my list
By BILL GRAY
Mt. Pleasant News
Not all of my 2010 Christmas wishes I arbitrarily chose for Henry County’s brethren and sistren came true. (Is “sistren” the politically correct way to go, or is it politically correct to be politically incorrect, as in the Congressman wishing constituents, “Merry Christmas.” But, major digression alert! Corrective action will be taken!).
This year, it feels like Santa Claus may have snuck into our communities a little early. Yes, I mean more than his visits to his little house in Central Park. And the gift he brought – contrary to my 2010 statement that “Santa Claus really isn’t into intangibles,” may be just of that nature.
• It’s the “O” word, people! Optimism! It’s back in vogue around these parts after an absence of more time than I know I want to remember.
• It’s the continued improvements at industries like Alaniz/Metrogroup, Agri-Way Partners, American Waterjet and Nypro Kanaak that bode well for their secure futures in Henry County.
• It’s the groundswell of gathering support to improve the Union Block building.
• It’s the overall gain in storefronts for downtown Mt. Pleasant.
• It’s the efforts to improve the quality of education with more laptops per student in WACO and Winfield-Mt. Union, and structural upgrades like the new elevator for New London’s middle and high schools, and the increasing success of “Project Lead the Way” in Mt. Pleasant Community Schools.
• It’s the advent of a brand-new building for a brand-new business in Mt. Pleasant, Community First Credit Union.
• It’s the upgrade and use of a too-long vacant building that this week will house Mt. Pleasant’s new Maid-Rite restaurant.
• It’s the ongoing efforts behind the scenes to establish and upgrade local investor support for existing and new business and industry expansion needs.
• And probably a dozen things I’m not thinking about at the moment!
OK. I asked for things last year like some state sports trophies for our local teams. Those will come in due time.
And while we’re not quite “there” as far as the ambitious hopes to upgrade Central Park Christmas decorations, I really think the park looks nice with what we have right now. Don’t forget we still have the fantastic lights in our neighborhoods in Mt. Pleasant and all of the surrounding communities – which seem to get better every season.
I sort of asked for the wrong thing when I expected Santa to supply “plenty of sand and salt” for slick roads. Given the February blizzard, I should have asked for plenty of stout snow-moving machines. But our road crews did great handling one of the toughest winters in a couple of decades, yes?
I did hedge my bets a little by asking Santa to bring us “a new Washington Street.” We’re close to that, and doesn’t it feel good to have those four lanes back between Locust and Haynes streets?
So Santa, if you had anything to do with bringing more optimism to Henry County, thanks. Just sprinkle in the gift of patience as we look forward to work on Washington Street in the downtown area in 2012, and we just may be set!