Andy’s Letter: Welcome 2016

Just a few days ago we said goodbye to 2015. People have been posting all over social media about the wonderful year they had with pictures, accomplishments, and brag-lists. The TV news ran all the usual year-end review segments. Even Barbara Walters did her “10 Most Fascinating People of 2015” show. It has been sliced and diced, analyzed and criticized. It was a good year for most. Now it is time to look forward. Welcome 2016! Here’s what we know and what we might hope for.

  1. The economy continues to build steadily. We do not have a booming economy, but that’s probably okay. The boom times of the past couple decades have inevitably led to pretty serious downturns. Steady improvement is a very good thing. Interest rates have edged up slightly recently and even that isn’t all bad. Reasonable interest rates indicate a healthy economy.
  2. Our County and City are striving to form a Joint Economic Development team. The coordination of the two major local governing bodies for the betterment of our community is long overdue. It is an accepted Best Practice throughout the nation and it is now closer than ever. There would be a single point of contact overseen by the private sector with government representation.
  3. After more than 30 years at the helm of Van Wert County Hospital Mark Minick is retiring. The progress during Mark’s tenure has included Emergency Department improvements and performance excellence, successes in recruitment and investment, and exceptional leadership. Expect a capable and dynamic new leader to take over and continue Mark Minick’s legacy.
  4.  The Van Wert Business Development Center, the organization that developed both industrial parks, continues to work quietly behind the scenes. With a successful capital campaign in the rear view mirror, they will renew their efforts to work with all entities to foster growth and successes for our community.
  5. The Van Wert Area Chamber of Commerce has much to be proud of. Membership is up, financial performance is greatly improved from a few short years ago, and this business led organization plays a vital role in the progress of our community.
  6. Another engine that drives Van Wert’s success since 1925 is the Van Wert County Foundation. From grants and scholarships to one of the biggest supporter of the arts in Northwest Ohio, this organization plays many positive roles in our community.

Those are just some of the things that are public and organized that will help us all have a successful 2016. Individually each of us can do our best and work our hardest to improve the lives of our families and loved ones. Many people I know learned to live within their means when times weren’t so good. Combining that frugality with better times, more hours on the job, a new position or a new career, and sensible budgeting will make for an easier life and a brighter future. When we all work toward those things the sum total drives our local, state, and national economies to steady growth and better times.

Welcome 2016, indeed! I’m optimistic! How about you?

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