Every New Year rings in with some incredible standards to meet.
“It only happens once a year, when one night can change everything. For this one magical night, it is about getting another chance to do more, to give more and to love more. That’s what New Year’s is all about.”
That observation isn’t science. In fact, it is an excerpt from the trailer for “New Year’s Eve,” the holiday chick flick that is now in theaters.
The New Year is like the mouthwash after chewing on a year full of onions.
It’s the reset button needed to reboot all great intentions.
It is our mulligan.
In that sense, the City of Hagerstown placed its reservation for change in 2012 on Tuesday, three weeks before the ball is scheduled to drop.
In the loosest of definitions, that magic moment that separates 2011 and 2012 could signal a bit of badly needed rebirth for this area.
On Tuesday, the city made a commitment aimed at keeping professional baseball in Hagerstown.
It committed to help create a vastly improved facility, through renovating or replacing 80-year-old Municipal Stadium, at the price of about $2.8 million over 20 years.
It isn’t the solution, but it is the first step of many by this area and the Hagerstown Suns — the stadium’s main tenant — to make any solution a reality. And believe it, there are many more steps lined with a number of hoops to jump through to make any of this idea a reality.
The city offered money that will not raise taxes, with hopes that other parts of government will add support. It was also made with a promise from the Suns to work out a revenue-sharing plan which will help defer costs.
Without even looking, I know this idea will be met with mixed feelings. Any hint of progress automatically has people for and against it. No matter what it is — whether the terms of the economy, use of taxpayers’ money, need, practicality, political motives, bias support of one business and favoritism — it’s fired as salvos of smoke to cloud the issue.
It’s inevitable because every move involving business, government and public opinion provides more drama than “Days of Our Lives.”
That’s probably because it has a bearing on the days of our lives.
So, let’s strip it down to the bare essence.
What this came down to is the city drawing a line in the sand.
Another year is coming and there will be another business on the verge of eliminating local workers, closing or moving. A number of downtown mainstays closed in the last year. The closing of Washington County Hospital was the first in 2011’s domino effect as a number of the city’s signature shops were forced to surrender their downtown loyalty for survival.
Lately, it seems like all of Hagerstown’s one-way streets point out of town.
Parasiliti: Commitment to Suns could jump-start city's progress
Bob Parasiliti (Joe Crocetta / April 15, 2012)