Sunday, December 31, 2006

Future Forecasting

The future regionally will probably reflect the past, with the continuing lack of a clear vision from any organized group of public leaders around the issues of highest priority: public safety (county and city police forces need to grow), flooding (building the Auburn Dam), accommodating growth through infrastructure (build roads) while preserving valuable natural recreational resources (preserve and strengthen the Parkway).

Editorial: Will 2007 be year of unity or division for region?
Published 12:00 am PST Sunday, December 31, 2006

To progress as a region, Sacramento has one paramount need: to overcome some growing political divides.

There is the urban core -- the city of Sacramento -- where the politics lean left.

And there are the growing communities that ring the city -- Rocklin, Folsom, Elk Grove, etc. -- that lean to the right as they grow big enough to have their own identities and economies. Each has local leaders, with their own ideas and agendas.

But regardless of partisan or philosophical beliefs, they find themselves forced together to solve the same set of problems: flood control, transportation, air pollution -- the list goes on.

There is no shortage of challenges awaiting the region in 2007, all with one underlying theme -- a political quest to find common ground. And to find the money from somewhere, anywhere, to tackle the list of challenges. Here is a brief tour of the political landscape ahead, and an example of how a fight over one problem can spill into another if leaders forget the big picture and the need to think of the overall good of the region.