By Bob Belcher
Corsicana Daily Sun
You’ve seen the commercials, I’m sure, for Southwest Airlines and various employees from baggage handlers to gate agents to flight attendants all voicing the phrase, “It’s on!”
In their case, it refers to a campaign of customer satisfaction and value for the flying public.
You might also relate that same phrase to some local “goings on” that have reached the “It’s on” phase.
Things such as “budget workshops” and “back to school” and “fall football” all come to mind for me with that same slogan.
And, if it’s not “quite on” — it will be very, very soon.
We certainly salute the “It’s on” efforts of the Back to School/Stay in School Rally set for later this month — Aug. 14 to be exact. This group has worked for several years creating some excitement (and some incentive) for our kids as they prepare to return to the classroom for another school term.
Looking at the challenges that await our youngsters in the years to come, I wouldn’t want to trade places with them for the world! But it is an exciting time to be a young learner, looking back on my school days a hundred years ago.
Our big deal from year to year — would we have “green” chalkboards or “black” chalkboards.
For the kids of today in the Corsicana Independent School District, it’s all about “Smartboards” and “LiveScribe” pens — little “mini-computers” is the best way I can describe them — and the push for the latest technology to make learning more efficient and fun.
No such fun stuff from back in the 1960s, I can assure you. We were all tablets and No. 2 pencils and tests straight off the stencil machine. (Do they even still have stencil machines??)
Adding the excitement of having Wesley Johnson, a home-grown talent who has done quite well for himself at a very early age, the kids are bound to be excited about the day — and hopefully that excitement will indeed carry over to another equally as exciting school year.
Hats off to all involved!
Another area where “It’s on” is, as we mentioned, high school football time!
That’s always a busy time in our building, as the sports desk becomes one of the most hectic areas of the newsroom, all in preparation for the big Golden Circle Football magazine. This year’s edition is due out in your Sunday, Aug. 22 edition of the Daily Sun.
For all involved in that annual publication, it has “Been on” for a few weeks now, and you’ll see the efforts of all the hard work put into the magazine in a couple of weeks.
And yes, “It’s on” at the courthouse, the Corsicana Government Center, Navarro College and the schools — “it” being the annual budget preparations.
We’ve been chronicling their progress and will continue to do so for a few more weeks until all is said and one with the process.
One thing is for sure — there are some real challenges this year, probably more than ever, for all of our local government bodies in preparing their plans for the coming year. On the heels of the economic situation we’ve faced — and still face — plotting and planning revenues and expenditures a year in advance has meant an awful lot of Windex and paper towels to keep the fingerprints off the crystal ball.
It’s a task I wouldn’t wish on anyone — but one we’ve entrusted our elected officials with to do the right thing for the entity, and for the taxpayers.
All I ask is the same challenge I posed just about this time last year — before you sign off on the dotted line that approves the plan, put yourself in the shoes of the taxpayers for a good long while. Make sure you have developed a plan that is not only beneficial to the entity, but offers the best value to those who are paying the way.
And, while you are struggling with that, also remember that there are those among your constituency that are having to struggle with balancing their personal budget numbers as much as you are having to struggle with those in the various departments of city, county, state, college and school budgets as well.
I certainly don’t think that’s too much to ask.
Nor, is there anything wrong in asking — again.
Bob Belcher is Managing Editor of the Daily Sun. His column appears on Sundays. He may be reached by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org. Want to “Soundoff” on this column? E-mail: email@example.com