Valley Officials and Others Share Their New Year’s Resolutions

The Valley Voice asked local elected officials, public servants and others in the community to share their resolutions for 2014. As expected, we received a wide range of responses.

“My New Year’s resolution is to try to remember every day how short and precious life is and to remember that God has a purpose for us while we are here on earth,” said Visalia Police Chief Colleen Mestas.

“Our resolution at the chamber is to be much more aggressive in supporting businesses in Visalia with tools, training and information so that they can succeed,” said Glenn Morris, president/CEO of the Visalia Chamber of Commerce. “We will also continue to support entrepreneurs in our community in their efforts to expand and build our local economy. On a personal note, my aim this year is to use the time and talents I have been blessed with to serve where and how I can.”

Tulare County Auditor-Controller/Treasurer-Tax Collector/Registrar of Voters Rita Woodard’s New Year’s resolution is to lose weight. “Still working on this one from last year – but this year I really mean it!” she said. “Will walk more during the day and eat healthier to make it happen. And take a trip – still have nine states to go! At work, research, then install a better credit/debit card service that better serves our customers, and install a better system of processing voters on Election Day.”

“My New Year’s resolution is about being creative,” said Tulare County Acting Sheriff Mike Boudreaux. “I want to make every day count by creating and moving forward with ideas and concepts that move our department into the future. I will continue to be proactive while being innovative in serving the communities of Tulare County. Creativity brings new concepts and design. I am looking forward to the future of our department with advancements in technology and how these will serve our communities.”

Visalia Vice Mayor Warren Gubler shared his two resolutions: “1) No new taxes in 2014; and 2) Try to not follow the example of Stockton, Bell, Detroit or Rob Ford of Toronto!”

“As far as New Year’s resolutions, I have never been big on them but have always been a supporter of people setting goals and working on them all the time,” said Tulare County Supervisor Phil Cox. “It seems that people who set New Year’s resolutions set goals once per year and seldom follow through. How many times have people said they want to loose 20 pounds this year just to make it 30 pounds the next year? Personally I set daily, weekly, monthly, annual and lifetime goals. One of my monthly goals at the end of this year was to read at least two books per month. So far in the last three months, I have been able to read 12 books. So instead of setting resolutions for the year on January 1st, I would encourage people young and old to get in the habit of regularly setting goals on a daily, weekly and other longer terms. By looking at where we are on a daily basis, whether it be on a personal level, spiritually, academic or in our work, we can all have daily success stories to tell.”

Although Tulare County Supervisor Steven Worthley also admitted he was “not much of a new year’s resolution person,” he said, “My 2014 resolution is to lose 15 pounds and be re-elected to the Tulare County Board of Supervisors by the good citizens of District 4.”

“Looking ahead for 2014, I have a few personal wishes in addition to work,” said Tulare County District Attorney Timothy Ward. “In 2014, I would like to spend a little more time with my father who isn’t getting any younger, and by the end of summer help teach my daughter to swim. Professionally, I will continue to lead the best district attorney’s office in the Valley, and continue serving our communities and victims of crime.”

Porterville Council Member Pete V. McCracken resolved “to continue to represent all of the residents of the City of Porterville to the best of my abilities with priority on: 1) public safety; 2) water, sewer and trash disposal; 3) streets and roads; 4) parks, recreation, leisure activities and library; and 5) other issues under the responsibility of the City of Porterville that affect our residents.”

“As an elected official, the New Year brings the opportunity for a fresh start,” said Porterville Council Member Virginia Gurrola. “Communication and engagement are key elements in this New Year’s resolution. It is my desire in 2014 to continue to problem-solve through respect, encouragement of all voices, and commitment to human rights. I know that our greatest assets are the members of our community, and I will continue to seek opportunities that bring new jobs to Porterville while improving the quality of life that all our citizens should enjoy.”

“I don’t have much in New Year’s resolutions,” admitted Porterville Council Member Greg Shelton, “but here’s something for you to print: Besides my perennial promise to eat less, and exercise more – LOL! – this year, I have resolved to spend more time with the people in my life who have made me what I am. I remember on Thanksgiving about five years back, I was complaining to an older friend about how my visiting mother – whom I love dearly – was

DRIVING ME CRAZY! Well my friend told me that her mother did the same thing to her, but that she had just passed away the year before, and that she would now give ANYTHING to have her mother around to ‘drive her crazy’ for just one more year. At that point, I realized that both friends and family are a transitory gift…and should be appreciated as such! I’m reminded of a quote by Yeats, ‘Think where man’s glory most begins and ends, and say my glory was I had such friends.’ God bless, and Happy Holidays to all…and love ya, Mom!!!”

Jennifer Nicholson, executive director of Riata Ranch International, did some soul searching and decided that she needed to reorganize her priorities. “It’s amazing to see the positive results once I put the truly important parts of my life first,” she said. “Things are falling into place. So, my 2014 resolution is to continue to put my faith first, then family, then the pressing issues of the day. Although my New Year’s resolution is quite simple and not unique, I find that starting with oneself on the inside makes everything else better. I look forward to a purposeful and prosperous 2014.”

“I love the idea of introspection and desiring to better ourselves in the year ahead,” said Jessica Cavale, director of development for the Visalia Rescue Mission, “although this does not necessarily mean I keep all those resolutions each year. A few of mine are as follows: become a better cook and do meal planning each week for at least three to four of the nights (my husband is a great cook. I just need to learn a thing or two); get up early and workout three days a week; do devotions/journal/read the Bible at the beginning of each day;

send/give cards and gifts on time (not just within the month) for birthdays and other celebrations; read one book per month (minimum); more listening and encouraging; travel somewhere I’ve never been; and plant garden boxes (well, learn to garden in general).”

“Visalia Farmers Market Association is looking forward to creating community partnerships and finding local sponsors to enhance programs offered at our markets such as: Market Match fruit and vegetable incentives, cooking demonstrations, nutrition education and farmer-led interactive workshops,” said Market Manager Naomi Alberstein. “In 2014, these programs will help to provide access to fresh healthy food for more families, support our local small farmers and create an even more fantastic experience at Visalia Farmers Markets, where community happens!”

“This year, I’m going to eat healthier and carve out more beach-time surfing – helping me be more mentally and spiritually productive and prosperous at work and at home,” said Aaron Gomes, Sound N Vision Foundation founder and executive director.

“Having just turned 79, my New Year’s resolution for the coming year – is to get to 2015,” said Allan Fisher of the Mission Care Group.

“My New Year’s resolution is to get the word out about Jesus Christ in whatever manner or means possible and to connect with those resolved to do the same, so more will know Him,” said Nick Anthony, outreach pastor at Crossroads Community Church.

“My New Year’s resolution will be to be excited and thrilled about climbing the mountain ahead as I take one step at a time, one challenge at a time, to fully enjoy the journey to the summit!” offered Cheryl Christman, board president of ImagineU Interactive Children’s Museum. “Oh yeah, and don’t sweat the small stuff!”

“My New Year’s resolution is to incorporate routine exercise toward a healthier lifestyle along with completing my educational goal of graduating from Fresno State’s MBA program with distinction in 2014,” said Raymond C. Macareno, publisher of Nuestro Tiempo Magazine.

“I hereby resolve to display more ‘love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control’ in the coming year,” said Sandy Hagar of Quail Park Retirement Village.

“My New Year’s resolution is to shop with reusable bags,” said Caroline Koontz,

executive director of the Arts Consortium. “I had the same resolution last year and I did a fairly good job at remembering to take them into the grocery store and to the Farmers Market, but I think I can do better in 2014. I know this might seem like an underwhelming goal, but it is a little something I can do that positively impacts our environment and saves resources.”

“I resolve to be debt free before the end of 2014,” said Chris Brewer, Bear State Books publisher and Valley historian.

Visalia Rawhide General Manager Jennifer Pendergraft has a unique resolution. “My New Year’s resolution will be to take up cross-bow shooting,” she said. “Something random and fun – good stress release and keeps my upper body in shape.”

“The 2013 Rawhide had a nice playoff run, new attendance records, and witnessed great Major League accomplishments by Visalia Rawhide alumni Paul Goldschmidt (MVP runner-up) and Max Scherzer (Cy Young Award winner),” noted Tom Seidler, Visalia Rawhide team owner. “It’s time in 2014 to bring a California League Championship to Visalia!”

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