January 3, 2013
New year brings new city goals
Each year, we offer you our list of 2013 goals for Newcastle. Let’s get the agenda started!
Infrastructure projects. An extensive pavement management program, two sidewalk projects and a multitude of storm water projects are in line for 2013. It’s ambitious, but nothing city staff can’t manage to ensure they are done well and on time.
School construction. It’s an exciting time as the new middle school prepares for construction to begin in 2015. The Renton School District will hold community presentations to showcase the design and invite the community to help name the school. Get ready to help shape an important educational and community space.
Mutual Materials: The city should collaborate with the developer to craft a plan that is mutually beneficial to both the company and the city. The development of this site is a vital opportunity that has a significant chance to impact Newcastle’s future.
Protect history. The city and the library must partner with the Newcastle Historical Society to ensure that local artifacts are not only protected but also displayed where the community can learn more about the city’s history. Concurrently, the history group needs to be aggressive about fundraising and seeking grants.
Expand business connections. The chamber of commerce is taking a big step in hiring a part-time executive director. It means increased membership fees, but members should see it as an investment. We hope merchants embrace the change and get involved in promoting Newcastle as a good place to shop and do business.
City Parks. The City Council will update the parks portion of the Comprehensive Plan this year. It’s an opportunity to define everything from future acquisitions to maintenance plans and the trails system. Both the Parks Commission and Planning Commission should be involved. Outcome should consider a parks and open space bond for voter approval.
Legislature — 41st District representatives are all returning with their leadership intact. Still, when the session convenes next week, we expect their ears to be wide open and their hands outstretched, prepared to set aside party agendas in favor of bipartisan cooperation to develop solutions to the state’s education and budgetary issues.
Local elections — We’re only months away from candidate filing for City Council and school board positions. If you are interested in the ultimate volunteer job, it’s time to start planning your campaign. The community is best served when every position has challengers.