IT DOESN’T seem possible that 2018 is coming to an end and a fresh new year is ready to begin — whether or not we are ready for it. It seems like the older I get the faster the years go by. My friend, Brian Byers, believes that’s because the older we get one year is a smaller percentage of our life. When we are 10 years old, one year is one-tenth of our life, but that percentage shrinks dramatically as the decades pass. So, if you are 50 years old, one year is 1/50th of your life so 1/50th of your life goes by a lot faster than 1/10th of your life. That sounds reasonable to me. I adhere to the well-known belief that life goes by faster as a person grows older because life is like a roll of toilet paper — the closer a person gets to the end of the roll, the faster it unrolls! This past Monday, I started my 50th year as editor and publisher of the Decatur Tribune, and needless to point out, it has kept me extremely busy. Although it has represented a huge percentage of time in my life, thanks to the support of my family, a great staff, faithful subscribers and advertisers, God has blessed our efforts at the Decatur Tribune newspaper. May God bless all of you in the coming year as He has blessed us, Best wishes for a Happy and Healthy 2019!
• THE RACE for two expiring seats on the Decatur Park Board is not going to generate much excitement. Even though we are months away from the election, I believe I can safely predict that incumbent Chris Harrison and candidate Kristin White will easily win those two seats — because they are the only two candidates to file their petitions to run! Probably, the biggest news coming out of the park board race is that long-time commissioner Chris Riley is not seeking re-election. Rumors about Riley not running again have been circulating in some quarters for several weeks. Riley, who has been on the board for 18 years, and is undoubtedly the most visible of the commissioners, believes that it is time for someone else to occupy his seat on the board. When he was a kid, Chris and our middle son, Craig, were good friends and Chris was at our home frequently. Years later when he came to my office and told me that he was going to run for a park board seat, I was pleased — except it doesn’t seem like that has been nearly 20 years ago! During the years I was mayor, Chris and I had the opportunity to talk often about City of Decatur/Decatur Park District issues. We didn’t always agree because we served on two separate public bodies, but I alway enjoyed meeting and talking with Chris. Best wishes to Chris. He has served the Decatur Park District and the community well, and it is going to be difficult to think of the board without Chris on it. Wow! The race for the two seats on the Decatur Park District Board is going to be an awfully quiet one this time around — and probably shouldn’t even be called a “race” since both candidates will win. Although some big projects have been undertaken by the Decatur Park District in recent years, and received a fair amount of criticism, that seems to have quieted down a lot.
• ONLY one Decatur School Board incumbent has decided to run for re-election to one of the three seats that are up for election — school board President Dan Oakes. Board incumbents Brian Hodges and Sherri Perkins are not running for re-election, so at least two new members will serve after the election. There are three newcomer candidates, Andrew W. Taylor, Leara F. Evans and Regan Lewis. This race should not be as highly-charged, and heavily advertised, as the last time around which drew a lot of attention. • CAMPAIGNS for the Decatur City Council, and other area offices, will be getting started once the Christmas and New Year’s celebrations are over.
• THERE WILL be no City Hall Insider on WSOY’s Byers & Co. until the first Thursday of January (Jan. 3) at 7:00 a.m. The Decatur Tribune offices will also be closed on Dec. 31 and Jan. 1. However, the Tribune will be published on Wednesday, as usual.