It's Christmas Eve, and Santa is working up a sweat on his Peloton for a big finish to the season.
(Bet if Mrs. Claus got chubby ol' Santa a Peloton, that would not have created a Twitter firestorm.)
As we are looking for last-minute suggestions for last-minute gifts, here are a few for some of the most recognized folks around these parts:
— For Jim Coppinger, our Hamilton County mayor, let's give him the credit he deserves. Simply put, he's right there with Dalton Roberts as the most influential county mayors. Let's match our praise with lofty expectations for the handling of the monster issues facing our county in 2020 — schools, jails and water treatment.
— For our county commissioners, the backbone needed to take a hard look at raising taxes. Our expenses are going up, and our needs continue to grow. On that we can all agree. In fact, the biggest misnomer through the fiscal tugs of war that resonated last summer was not the tax increase as much as the way the extra funds were being earmarked.
— For Weston Wamp, may he find his path back into politics, be that locally, regionally or in whichever direction.
— For the Hardball Capitol folks who own the Chattanooga Lookouts, a pass off the MLB chop list. The long-standing minor league organization could be facing MLB contraction, regardless of what the future stadium plans may be. I have always said this contraction process is a cost-saving move by baseball, but reports this weekend had MLB owners sharing in a record-setting $10.7 billion in revenue.
— For Dr. Bryan Johnson, the wisdom to realize the proper ways to allocate extra funds. Last year, the teacher's raises were dangled like rubber worms and chicken livers as bait, and then the switch to hiring more people rather than permanently rewarding the hard-working teachers in our system caused a lot of us to lose trust in the central office. Trust is a tricky thing, because it can be easy to build, easier still to lose, hard to get back, and if it's ever permanently lost, well, you'd be more likely to find a needle in a haystack of needles. This will be a big year for Dr. Johnson and his inner circle.
— For those of us who have been skeptical of the county school system's ballyhooed test scores, may we have the same scope of perspective the next time the system does not measure up on state scores. Personally, test scores make my head hurt and the numbers can be spun top-like into almost any narrative. But if we are going to shrug at good numbers, when the next round is not as glorious, in a sense of fairness, we must be equally as non-plussed.
— For the VW folks, thanks for picking us. And don't pull any more of those billion-dollar-scandal thingys, huh? You need us. We need you. Let's make this thing last for a couple of decades, OK?
— For those of you wondering why I have not written more about the impeachment mess, well, may you have Christmas clarity. We all know how this will play out: Democrat-controlled House votes to impeach; Republican-controlled Senate will ignore it; Trump will continue serve; supporters will love him more; haters will hate him more. Lather, rinse, repeat. (No matter how noble David Cook's suggestion of forgiveness may be.)
— For those of you who read these regular Community Conversations and smile, may you know my gratitude for reading and have a blessed Christmas.
Contact Jay Greeson at firstname.lastname@example.org.