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Goodbye 2008, Hello 2009

By Staff | Dec 31, 2008

For all of its faults, of which there were many — skyrocketing fuel prices, the continued sluggish real estate market, a weakened U.S. economy and a bitter political campaign for the world's most powerful office — 2008 really wasn’t that bad a year here on the islands.

On Sanibel, we saw a very successful first year of operations at the Recreation Center, a number of beautification projects throughout the island entrance/Periwinkle Way corridor, improvements to the shared use path system and increased visitor traffic at the Sanibel & Captiva Chamber of Commerce.

We also saw the City Council, thanks in great part to City Manager Judie Zimomra, approve next year’s municipal budget save more than $1.5 million from the previously approved budget. In these tough economic times, it’s good to see that our local leaders are doing whatever they can to keep city spending to a minimum and trim the fat where it is warranted.

True, not all of the news in 2008 was rosy, but most of the good deeds that were seen have resonated through the course of this past year, which we hope we’ll continue to see continue in 2009 and beyond.

Over the next 12 months, the city will surely tackle some tough issues. Fingers crossed, it will handle those tasks with professionalism and the best interest of all islanders in mind. It may even render a few decisions that may seem unpopular to some folks here. Whatever they may be — property taxes, committee appointments, the possibility of a new fishing pier added to the causeway (of which Lee County has ultimate authority) — our leaders must be trusted to act in the best interests of you and I.

In March, Sanibelians will have another tough decision to make: the election — or re-election — of three City Council members. Bear in mind that the upcoming vote may be even more important than this past November’s national election, because nobody who has thrown their hat in the ring at this point has promised “Change.” Yes, with any election there will be some degree of change coming. However, one of the most endearing and attractive things about Sanibel is just how little change is made from year to year.

Let’s make a toast for 2009: Change for our country, tradition for our island.

— Reporter editorial