The new year prompts new (and old) yearnings

As the finishing touches are being put on 2021, we look ahead to 2022 with hope and, of course, resolutions. Here are resolutions we submit to enhance an already wonderful community.

• Stick to the agenda

Hinsdale High School District 86 Board President Terry Walker should resolve to discuss all items on the meeting agenda. If four board members have agreed to place the item on the agenda, Walker shouldn’t change the rules — as she did Dec. 16 — and ask for another vote to determine whether to actually discuss it.

• Avoid a game of “Parking Fury”

More work must be done to manage the central business district’s parking capacity. The downtown parking deck’s value has become clear since opening 18 months age. It’s often completely filled by midday — in the middle of a pandemic. Can the village offer incentives to move employees to the often empty red permit spaces? Can the commuter lot be better utilized with so many now working remotely? Are there other options worth investigating?

• Keep doors open to outdoor dining

The village should continue to work with restaurateurs to maintain outdoor dining in the central business district in the spring, summer and fall months. The al fresco option clearly has appeal beyond simply a COVID-19 coping measure (even if it eats up some parking spots).

• Create the committee

The District 86 board should establish a committee dedicated to academics — like the academic success committee in District 181 — as suggested by board member Debbie Levinthal. We agree a separate forum for discussing academic issues would provide additional information for those who seek it and streamline regular board meetings — so long as all the same information is not repeated before the full board each month.

• Mask and vax

Everyone should follow the CDC recommendations regarding masking and vaccinations. Emergence of the Omicron variant has shown that we still need to do all we can to stay safe.

• Appreciate the past

Stop by the Hinsdale History Museum at 15 S. Clay Street to see the “Remembering Pearl Harbor & WWII” exhibit, which chronicles the efforts of Hinsdaleans at home and abroad. The exhibit is open from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturdays (except for New Year’s Day) through the spring.

• Shop local year-round

Many merchants have commented on how much they appreciated residents’ support during the holiday shopping season. Let’s give them reason to be grateful all through 2022.

• Sharpen the pencil

Value engineering should be used to eliminate as much as possible of the $4.5 million referendum deficit related to facilities improvements in District 86. Labor shortages and supply chain issues certainly could not have been anticipated when the referendum was passed in April 2019, but annual construction project funds should be pilfered only as a last resort.

• Give police a hand

Help deter crime in the village by locking your vehicles and taking your key fobs with them. Leave interior lights on when you’re not at home and enlist neighbors or friends to ensure items are not left sitting on driveways or porches.

• Keep an open heart

The giving spirit that seems to go hand in hand with the holiday season should continue into the new year, as the need for essentials — food, clothing, shelter, health care — doesn’t go away because the calendar has changed. We’re in this together!