During the past 12 months so much has happened in our three cities.
As you saw in the Dec. 27 issue review of our top stories of the year, there were highs, lows and controversies. In 2013 there were state championships, deaths, election triumphs and defeats, but as always there was change.
As this rock we live on continues to spin on its axis we breathe in, breathe out, put one foot in front of the other and everything is moving so fast it hardly seems like anything is changing at all.
Yet, anyone who is a parent knows how much things change in a year. My daughter turned 4 in November and looking at photos of her a year ago, listening to her talk, watching how she interacts with others, I know so much has changed.
Anyone who is an athlete at any level is well aware of change. At this point in 2012 as I prepared for 2013, I was looking forward to the goals I set for this year: running five more 5Ks and then progressing to 10Ks. In the past year I ran eight 5Ks, an 8K and two 10Ks. As I look ahead to 2014, I have new goals, specifically to run my first half marathon March 8. There are other goals, too.
I like goals. They are so much better than resolutions. If you read my column a year ago, you may remember that neither Katherine Smith or I like to come up with New Year’s Resolutions. No, instead, we like goals. You do not set yourself up for failure with goals, at least not usually.
Goals are good, too, for the cities and school districts we cover.
Covington will have a new councilman in Joseph Cimaomo, Jr. He talked about his goals when it comes to roads, parks and police. Given that my office is in Covington and my painfully long 10-minute commute from Maple Valley is impacted by how Cimaomo and the rest of the City Council can accomplish its goals while adjusting to the changes of circumstances on many levels, I will watch that city intently. It will be interesting to see what happens next with the quest for additional revenue for roads and police as well as how the next phase of Covington Community Park will develop not to mention the Hawk property, which could be the site of some serious commercial growth in 2015, right off state Route 18.
Black Diamond will be interesting, too, with a new mayor in Dave Gordon, as well as a new councilwoman in Erika Morgan. We will be watching as the new elected officials approach the learning curve of governing a small city, particularly one on the precipice of the kind of change proposed by YarrowBay’s master planned developments. We hope in the near future to chat with these new officials to get their take on the goals for Black Diamond during the coming years.
And in Maple Valley there is stability on the City Council but the community is still in for change as the Tahoma School District pursues its goal of building a new high school to alleviate crowding. There was little time to celebrate as district officials began preparing for what’s next thanks to the election victory of the passage of the $195 million school bond measure. But, we can’t forget that in six months longtime Superintendent Mike Maryanski will pass the leadership torch to Rob Morrow, who is currently principal at Tahoma Junior High. In some ways, that is a change, and in others it is not. And Tahoma has brought up several education leaders from Maryanski to Emilie Hard, who is now in a leadership position with the Issaquah School District administration, as well as that district’s newest superintendent, Ron Thiele, who spent a decade working in Tahoma. Morrow is just the latest in the educational leadership pipeline in the Tahoma School District.
But, that does not mean there is nothing to look forward to at Maple Valley City Hall, as work toward annexation of the Donut Hole — as we so affectionately call that 154 piece of property owned by King County — could soon be annexed by Maple Valley after years of controversy surrounding that piece of real estate. Of that, 35 acres will be home to the new high school proposed by Tahoma.
After a year, Katherine has settled in here at the Covington-Maple Valley-Black Diamond Reporter. I know I’m happy to have her here and I hope her work this past year has helped you stay informed about what is going on in the city of Maple Valley as well as all of our schools.
There will be much to watch for and write about in 2014. There will be change. There will be goals to achieve. And surely there will be surprises. There are always surprises.