TER has been an on and off concern - mostly off - during 2008.
Without doubt, this has been a momentous year all around.
The course of our country and the world has been changed by the global financial crisis, which is in fact a housing crisis. Fortunately, this country chose wisely in electing calmly competent junior Senator from Illinois, Barack Obama, as President of the United States. If anyone can provide the leadership needed to get us through the next four years, it is the soon-to-be President Obama.
In Massachusetts, we face a steadily worsening fiscal picture. Governor Patrick announced state budget cuts that may now include mid-year local aid reductions. The next couple of years will be tough.
Much has changed for me personally, including the fact that I will be dealing with the effects of state finances on local governments as a Selectman in the Town of West Brookfield. The reality of this new role also struck home in much lighter fashion this afternoon. At the local liquor store, I looked up at the wall and saw my signature stating at me from the store's brand new 2009 liquor license. I thought "this is for real."
What is also for real is all of the assistance and good wishes my family received when my wife got her kidney transplant. Her operation was on January 10, 2008; she's doing great. We are all very thankful.
And so I wish you all a Happy New Year - one that is safe, secure, and happy.