By Ed Martin, The Leader Editor
Promise of passionate leadership paves the way for a bright Lemoore future!

As we stumble into a new year, we are reminded of a world teaming with uncertainty, from the tragedy of Aleppo to the undermining of American democracy by an organization of overzealous internet hackers – zealots born in the suburbs of Moscow – or a 400-pound New Jersey man relaxing in his living room – ensconced on a very large couch.

A collection of national intelligence officials prefers the Moscow scenario. President-elect Donald Trump likes the 400-pound New Jersey guy alternative. But that’s another story for another column – which probably won’t be written.

Unfortunately, while I have my reservations regarding America’s future in the next four years, it’s what happens in California, and more specifically, Kings County and ultimately Lemoore, that matters to the people who live in this diverse community.  

Lemoore has always had promise – from the continued presence of the Naval Air Station Lemoore to the expansion of West Hills College – this city has always looked to the future – and the future has continued to be a work in progress.

We are lucky. We are blessed with good schools, meaningful job-creating businesses, and a local spirit that manifests itself in a revitalized Lemoore Chamber of Commerce and a plethora of community organizations like the Lions Clubs, the Rotary, and a host of others whose primary concern has always been for the welfare of this community.

These are the organizations or agencies that provide much-needed funding for underprivileged kids who cannot afford recreation programs, eyeglasses for the disadvantaged, funding for local parks, a downtown park water fountain, and a host of other projects that ultimately benefit the citizens of Lemoore.

For the most part our small community, over the years, has benefitted from a top-notch police department – under effective and efficient leadership – to a committed corps of firemen, who at the sound of a beeper, drop everything they’re doing at the time, and go to work for the people of Lemoore.

And now The Leader believes that after several years of “selfish” leadership – confined fortunately in the past two years to a minority – a new leadership corps, and now, five councilmembers and a talented city staff, who obviously care about their community, seem poised to deliver on Lemoore’s promise.

But it’s going to take work. Yes, there is a “can-do” spirit in Lemoore, and it manifests itself in its citizens who care about their community. The future of Lemoore can and will be bright if we work together.

As we stumble into 2017 it’s important that we reflect on the past as we plan for a bright future, a manifest destiny that we think will be bright, as our forward-thinking and passionate leaders seek to resolve outstanding issues, efficiently and patiently paving the way for a brighter economic outlook.

Of primary interest, of course, should be a renewed emphasis on economic development – the creation of jobs, recreation, and improving the vitality of our water system, all of which have been and will continue to be top priorities – as it is in most small and burgeoning communities in California. We are certainly not alone in our express desire to improve the quality of services for our citizens.

On water, our leaders have already taken the steps to ensure our water system remains reliable and efficient, and the city’s numerous services, from community needs to public works, continue to be efficient and responsive.

Our city leaders should refocus on reestablishing a planning department, an absence fostered when a misguided council in 2013, motivated more by politics than wise counsel, eliminated the city’s planning department. It needs to be reestablished, particularly in light of a renewed economy, which brings with it new businesses, new housing developments and the renewed need for wise and efficient planning.

The city needs to tackle economic development head on and renew its relationship with the Kings County Economic Development Corporation, scrapping private agencies that promise retail development and don’t deliver. Creating an in-house economic development agency that coordinates and works with other local and national economic development sources, should be a primary focus of the City of Lemoore.

There is indeed a “passion” in this new leadership, from councilmembers to staff. It would be wise to channel that “passion” into programs and efforts that ultimately benefit our city and its citizens. It’s important that we keep our eyes on the prize: an efficient, progressive community with its eyes on the future.