Boy, time flies when you are having fun.
It seems it was just days ago that I was asking about getting things ready for the holiday issue, and last night I was typing a March deadline into the latest Observer! Where does the time go? And with that time so many things have come and gone, how are we doing on those New Year's Resolutions?
It was revealed last night, that the city of Lakewood will be getting $300,000 less in CDBG funding than last year. While this is not surprising news, I have to believe that the actual amount took many back, and should take us all back on our heels a little bit. Things were tight, and we were all getting ready to tighten our belts a little more for 2012, and 2013. But now we are really going to have to get lean, and really have to come up with better ways of working towards sustainable goals for this city, and for many of the programs within the city. Gone for now are the days of squandering this money for pet projects, gone are the days of being able to afford to make simple little mistakes. Now more than ever we need a community that understands what is happening, understands what is needed, and understands that without them at the table, we are coming up short.
While this frightens some, and even panics others, these are the days that have been outlined and discussed for years by those at the Observer and on the infamous Observation Deck. Sustainable, positive programs for the community that either take very little dollars to sustain, or even make money and can now give back to the community in our hour of need. As a member of that panel, let me assure you, there is nothing to fear in the coming months and years. Lakewood luckily, because of our history is perfectly suited for whatever the coming years bring. Because we grew up in a very liveable community we don't have to go crazy, we can tighten up, take care of ourselves and sustain. We are well-positioned in every way for the future.
But there is a time to quit wasting money on pipe dreams of being things we are not, and to get back to what got us here in the first place, and the time is now. The other day I posted: "The difference between school and life? In school, you're taught a lesson and then given a test. In life, you're given a test that teaches you a lesson." - Tom Bodett. Well, here comes another test that is sure to teach us many things about our community, our neighbors and our leaders. We cannot fail, the cost will be too high. We must go back and concentrate on the basics of what we do, and do it better, and leaner.
I have very little worry though, I know together we can accomplish miracles; look no farther than this community-driven project. That in the face of adversity has not only stayed true to our mission statement, but stayed true to everything the original founders had envisioned. We have weathered many storms, and grown in strength and in numbers. No, we have nothing to fear in Lakewood's tomorrows, as long as we all do our jobs.
Finally I want to take this moment to thank one of the unsung heroes of this project, Betsy Voinovich. While many know the name, and many more know of the family, very few know what she has done for this city, this project and the entire Observer Media project. After meeting over coffee one day at Caribou, talking about her movie on Cleveland Rock and Roll, she became interested in the Lakewood Observer project, and why shouldn't she? An accomplished writer with Hollywood credits, now living in the city her mother grew up in, raising a family with 3 young children in Lakewood Public Schools, it only makes sense to gravitate to a project dedicated to making the city whole and healthy. A project where anyone can raise their voice in a number of ways to talk about what they know, what they question and what they dream about. But what many never see, is her tireless dedication to making sure the collective voice of ALL Observers is literate, makes sense, and will not embarrass those taking the time to jump into the Mosh Pit of Word Jazz called the Lakewood Observer. Many a production night, at 2 am she is proofing the last version of the paper, spending time on articles she may be diametrically opposed to in many ways, but spending the time to make sure the word is "due," not "do." Making sure it is "there," not "their." To make sure that the people who have entrusted us with their words are not embarrassed because of them. A true labor of love. For all of us that have been corrected by you, thank you.
James C. O'Bryan
Lakewood Observer, Inc.http://lakewoodobserver.com
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