By PHYLLIS SNODGRASS
The elections are now behind us. Hays County stepped up the plate and gave a strong endorsement to its elected leadership as well as supported a much needed road bond package that will begin the process of building much needed infrastructure for our future. Congratulations to all who worked hard in order for these successes to take place.
But now the real work begins. It is time for our community and our nation to put aside its differences, roll up our sleeves and get down to the business of rebuilding our economy. And guess what folks? If we have learned anything this past year, it’s not to wait on Washington to fix things for us. No thank you. We need to work here in Texas, and here at home in Hays County by taking actions that will sustain us during the short term and prepare us for the long term.
Whether you voted for Barack Obama or not, it no longer matters. President Obama will assume office on January 20, 2009 and we need to join with President Bush in making this transition work. That is one of the hallmarks of our great nation, the ability to ensure a smooth transition of leadership from one team to another. And to work collaboratively in Washington, in Texas and at home to put partisan politics aside and focus on what is best for all Americans. This is where we come in. We elect our political officials. We also have a responsibility to hold them accountable. We don’t just elect them, toss them the ball and walk away. We have a responsibility to be engaged, informed, educated citizens and make sure our elected officials don’t get swayed by radical extremes and well funded special interests. It took more than extremists to get these folks elected, it took all of us. We need to make sure they remember that.
I am extremely proud of the San Marcos Chamber of Commerce’s willingness in the past year to take a stand on several key issues that will affect our entire community for years into the future. We have supported investment in schools, transportation and preservation of parks and green spaces for future generations. But the work does not stop there. Much more needs to be done to put San Marcos on the path to a bright future. We need to close the educational gaps, support commuter rail initiatives and continue to groom leaders for the future.
With every crisis and change comes opportunity –- if we will just seize it. Will we be a community that resists the future –- much like those in the past that turned their back on those nasty trains because nothing would replace horses for moving goods and services? Or will we allow the trains (the progress) to come to our community, allowing us to flourish and grow into the future? We are the ones that will make that call. Let’s focus on collaboration and cooperation. Let’s worry less about who gets credit and more about how we get the job done.
“The most important political office is that of the private citizen.” — Louis Brandeis
Let’s take that office seriously, folks, and let’s get to the business of coming together and moving our community forward. Our Chamber slogan for this coming year is “Our Future – Unlimited.” It truly is! Get involved, get connected and make it happen.
PHYLLIS SNODGRASS is president of the San Marcos Chamber of Commerce.Email | Print