Our View: Dear Santa: All we want is a stronger economy

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The calendar is winding down and Santa is detailing his sleigh for his nighttime flight. His elves are working overtime in their workshop to deliver all sorts of toys for good little girls and boys. If there’s still time to get our wish list in, here’s what the Journal editorial board wishes for the city of Auburn this Christmas: • Job creation and economic prosperity, starting with an anchor to replace the old Gottschalks store. We hope Auburn’s city and business leaders can help lure a solid tenant in 2010. • A great start for Streetscape. The first phase should be successfully completed in January. Our wish is that new sidewalks, greenery, pavers, firepit and community tree attract exciting new tenants – and Downtown shoppers. • A vibrant Streetscape art and history plan. The project’s History and Art Advisory Committee should come up with the perfect blend to represent Auburn. Auburn’s gold rush days, historic leaders, sports figures and artisans should all be remembered. How about asking prominent area artists to submit proposals for a Downtown sculpture? J. Randall Smith, Douglas Van Howd, Dr. Kenneth Fox and others? Let’s hope we don’t have to import a Nordic fern-style sculpture from, say, Oregon. • A replacement tenant for the former Costco site on Nevada Street. Could a plan and timeline to fill the spot be put into place and explained to residents? • A plan to fill the city industrial spaces near the Auburn Airport. The departure of United Foods and Coherent leaves a big void. Big employers also draw ancillary businesses. City leaders must be proactive and offer incentives to lure new business to town. • Smooth union negotiations. City employees are dedicated and generally do a great job. Officials need to take care of employees in a fair and equitable manner. Both sides need to put emotions aside and work together to come to a fair contract for 2010 and beyond. • Events to promote the Auburn School Park Preserve property. A series of events at the jewel park joining Old Town and Downtown would expose the public to this site while encouraging the effort to see salmon and steelhead return to Auburn Ravine creek and the preserve. • Stronger support for the State Theater project. The Auburn Area Performing Arts Commission has done an outstanding job refurbishing the Downtown landmark, and its marquee adds charm to the business district. It could also help lure shoppers – and needed tax dollars – Downtown. • Stronger support for Placer High School, its students and events through mutual cooperation and marketing efforts. Students and their activities can be valuable contributors that the city should value and nurture. • Stronger support for the arts. Auburn-area artists, musicians and the Auburn Symphony need to be valued and showcased. Auburn has a lot of talent that adds to the city’s quality of life. 2009 was by most measures a tough year economically. Here’s hoping the city’s successful negotiation through hard times leads to a healthy and prosperous future. ---------------------------- What's on your Christmas list for Auburn? Send your letters in 200 words or less to ajournal@goldcountrymedia. com and they may be published as a letter to the editor.