Looking back on our agenda for 2012, we had a pretty good year.
In terms of establishing a coordinated economic development effort, the community took a few steps forward and a few steps back, but the outlook seems bright.
The controversy that emerged over the makeup of the Logansport-Cass County Economic Development Foundation board wasn’t exactly a step forward, but the two sides did end up with a compromise that seems to be working. And the board appears to have made a great hire with its new president. Connie Neininger brings not only a countywide focus but a regional focus, and the newly renamed Cass Logan Economic Development Organization appears poised to lead exactly the sort of coordinated effort our agenda envisioned.
As to our goal of developing improved housing in the community, Mayor Ted Franklin deserves credit for his focus on ridding the city of eyesores. He’s made a good bit of progress and has shown no signs of letting up. The city still has some work to do, but it’s headed in the right direction.
Another goal for 2012 was to encourage Republicans to take advantage of their control of city and county government to improve cooperation among agencies and explore the possibility of saving taxpayer dollars through consolidation.
Things looked promising early in the year as the city and county were talking about collaboration on such things as a shared building commissioner. That effort went nowhere, though, and there was little talk of collaboration by the end of the year.
For several years, we’ve been encouraging state lawmakers to take another look at the local government reforms proposed by the Kernan-Shepard Commission. We had some hope that progress would be made in the final year of the Mitch Daniels administration, but it looks like Indiana lawmakers have taken all the action they’re prepared to take.
It’s now up to local officials to decide what efforts, if any, to pursue.
Neighboring Howard County took a shot at consolidating townships along school corporation boundaries this year, but the plan was rejected by voters.
We hope the vote won’t spell the end of such efforts. Cass County could certainly benefit from a similar consolidation plan.
We also sought to support local schools in their efforts to improve student performance. The schools had mixed results this year, but part of the problem might be with the standards. No one disputes that schools should be held accountable, but there is some question about whether the current standards are fair.
As to encouraging parity in athletic competition, the Indiana High School Athletic Association took a step forward this year with its new rules requiring schools to move up a class if they begin to dominate the competition. The first test of the new rules will come in 2013.
We’ll keep an eye on progress, but we’re optimistic the changes will produce positive results.
Yet another goal for 2012 was to continue our efforts to identify the community’s assets and promote them both here and elsewhere. We take seriously our role as a community cheerleader, and Logansport and Cass County have much to brag about.
We also have an important role to play as a watchdog on local government. Insisting that elected officials be accountable to the public is the basic job of a newspaper, and it’s one we will continue to take seriously.
Coming Wednesday: Our agenda for 2013
Looking back on our agenda for 2012, we had a pretty good year.
- WOLFSIE: A trip to end all trips My wife is planning a very exciting vacation to celebrate our 35th wedding anniversary. This was a big surprise to me. Not the vacation part, but the 35 years. I thought it was 34. Right now she is on the back porch, the patio table stacked high with
- FREY: Hero pilot still on a mission to save lives Ordinary people who live their lives, do something spectacular one day, and then embrace a great cause after retirement are tops in my book.Chesley “Sully” Sullenberger III is such an individual. He is the pilot who safely landed a US Airways airplan
- HAMILTON: Why incumbents keep getting reelected It’s no news that Congress is unpopular. In fact, at times it seems like the only real novelty on Capitol Hill would be a jump in its approval rating. In June, a Gallup poll found members’ standing with the American people at a historic low for a mid
- THEIR VIEW: Write clear rules for vanity plate licenses We see vanity license plates regularly. Some are funny or thought-provoking. Others are just plain puzzling.One specialty plate backing autism research and support carries the heartfelt message “4MYSON.” Others are more prosaic, as in COLTFANZ.It’s c
- WILLIAMS: Four-legged family I have three pets. First, Paisley, a long-haired cream and tortoise Ragdoll cat. She’s the aristocracy in our group, compared to the rest of us, who are all blue collar folks. Her movements are slow and stately and her mien is gracious. She is by far
- SKLAR: Small businesses want minimum wage increase If Congress actually listened to small business owners, the minimum wage would be going up. Instead, July 24 will mark five years without an increase since the federal minimum wage was set at $7.25 an hour in 2009.Small business livelihoods depend on
- KITCHELL: Reaction times change, but motorists don't Earlier this year, I came home one afternoon to find the worst accident on North Street I can ever recall.A bevy of police cars and four flatbed trucks were removing the pawns in an accident that damaged four vehicles. It was a bit unusual considerin
- OUR VIEW: Keeping insects under control curbs disease State health officials said last week mosquitoes in two northern Indiana counties tested positive for the West Nile virus, The Associated Press reported.The state health department said mosquitoes in Marshall and Pike counties were confirmed to have
- THEIR VIEW: Indiana's ethics laws in need of reform The Indiana State Ethics Commission’s recent approval of an agreement between the state inspector general and Tony Bennett settles the charges against the former state superintendent of schools.But the settlement raises more concerns about the loopho
- MARCUS: Tax simplification is no simple matter The governor and his select invitees to his closed tax conference last month praised simplifying Indiana’s tax code. It is an idea better loved by Americans than baseball, apple, pie or motherhood.There is no question that our national and state tax
- More Opinion Headlines