As 2022 draws to a close, millions of people will be joining the tradition of making New Year’s resolutions.
Sunday could represent a new beginning.
Maybe you wish to change a behavior.
Potentially, holiday meals are beginning to show around your midriff.
A resolution could be something as simple as putting down the phone for a few minutes.
Staff members at the News Tribune reached out to sources in their coverage areas, to see what they hope to see change in the fresh year.
Some considered personal resolutions. Some made resolutions intended to support others.
Either way, the community is likely to benefit from their efforts.
Scot Drinkard, one of the co-owners of Strikers and owner of The Office Bar and the former Spectators Bar and Grill, has spent years building a portfolio of popular businesses across the Jefferson City area. He said business and personal life tended to blend together for him, but he hoped to change that in the new year.
While he has more irons in the fire and other projects to invest in, he said his resolution for 2023 was to slow down. Although his version of downshift may still be busier than a lot of peoples’, he said he wanted to prioritize spending time with his family and enjoying a life separate from his business ventures.
“I feel like everything I do is business-related, and I feel like my biggest resolution is to slow down a little bit, downshift, and sit back and enjoy what I’ve created a little bit more than I do,” Drinkard said. “I’d like to do a few more small vacation getaways and just kind of spend more time with my wife and kids, and enjoy a little bit more of my life than I have in the past amid all of the chaos.”
Baristocats Cat Cafe, a nonprofit coffee shop at 702 E. McCarty St., allows customers to buy their favorite cafe drinks and spend time with foster cats that are up for adoption. The shop opened its doors for a soft opening just before Christmas to invite the public in and work with new volunteers.
While the business is hoping to set regular hours shortly into the new year, Heather Moritz, volunteer coordinator for the cafe and its parent charity People Helping Paws Cat Rescue, said the team’s main priority was the furry friends and the quest to find them loving homes.
Moritz said the Baristocats team’s biggest resolution was “to love and care for the cats that need it the most, so someday they can return that love to their new forever families.”
Matt Green, owner of BarVino and BarWhiskey in downtown Jefferson City, said his hope for the new year was to see his businesses continue to thrive.
“Our goal is always the same: to keep moving up and keep getting better,” Green said. “So my resolution — and that of my businesses — is to not settle for less than what we want and to continue getting better.”
Health and social services
Claudia Young, director of Missouri River Regional Library, emphasized gratitude toward her friends and family along with exploring her curious side as her New Year’s resolution.
“In 2023, I plan to write certain family, friends, and acquaintances and tell them exactly how they have made a difference in my own life,” Young said. “I want them to know now while they are living the impact they’ve had. I also plan to journal more and ask people I meet from all walks of life for the best advice they have ever received.”
Natalie Newville, assistant director of marketing and development at MRRL, said she and her husband plan in 2023 to become more aware of how they use certain important aspects of their lives.
“For 2023, our goal is to be more intentional with our time, our health, and our family and friends,” Newville said.
Maj. Justin Windell of the Jefferson City Salvation Army said his New Year’s resolution is to continue helping those in need.
“I believe my New Year’s resolution would be (to) focus on continuing to help those who are unhoused in Jefferson City and finding ways to assist them in securing permanent housing,” Windell said.
For her New Year’s resolution, Karen Taylor, pastor at First United Methodist Church, wants to bring attention to the housing crisis at Jefferson City.
“What I would like for myself in the coming year is to help our city understand the affordable housing crisis and work together toward a resolution,” Taylor said.
State Sen. Mike Bernskoetter, R-Jefferson City, said his goal for 2023 is the same as it usually is: staying healthy.
“Generally, my New Year’s resolution is to exercise more, eat less and try to stay as healthy as you can,” he said, adding it’s become more difficult as respiratory illnesses surged in recent weeks.
“I want to have a good, long life, and I think one of the ways of doing that is trying to maintain a healthy lifestyle,” Bernskoetter continued.
State Rep. Dave Griffith, R-Jefferson City, said his New Year’s resolution is to continue keeping constituent interests at the forefront of what he does. He said his latest constituent survey garnered the most responses since he was first elected in 2018.
“I think it’s working, and I think that people know my office is responsive,” said Griffith, who will be starting his third term in the state House on Wednesday. “They may not always like the response they get, but it’s honest, and I try to vote the way they would have me vote.”
Through the survey, event interactions and individuals reaching out to his office or personal cell phone, Griffith said he tries to stay in touch with the community he represents.
Local leaders in education are looking toward a meaningful 2023.
Jefferson City School Board member Erika Leonard, elected in April 2022, said she wanted to enjoy life at a deeper level this year.
“In 2023, my resolution is to experience more,” she said. “Experience traveling with my kids and exploring places alongside them. Experience living in the moment more while putting down the phone. Reminding myself that the chaos of life with two active boys will slow down some day and to soak it all up now, each and every day. Experiencing more of life’s greatest blessings will set the tone for my new year.”
Blair Oaks Elementary School Principal Tara Bishop, on the other hand, wanted to take time to record those experiences for reflection — or maybe to share.
“This coming year, I have set a personal new year’s resolution to journal each week. As I get older, I realize the joys, heartaches, accomplishments and memories one experiences is something that should be shared,” she said. “Whether those are shared with others or kept for future reference to reflect on is something I haven’t personally decided on yet. If I gather enough courage to share my stories, it will be with the intent of supporting and encouraging others or to simply put a smile on their face.”
Cole R-1 School District Superintendent Jeff Jennewein had a more classic goal.
“I really need to start working out again,” he said. “I haven’t exercised regularly in at least six months. So my New Year’s resolution is to hit the gym three times a week.”
John Weber, Blair Oaks School Board member and Special Learning Center Foundation board president, had a host of resolutions, personal and professional, that he was keeping in mind for the new year.
The year 2023 will be important for determining plans to either build or remodel a building for the Special Learning Center (SLC), Weber said, as well as fundraising. At Blair Oaks, the board also faces big decisions: whether to move forward with a bond issue for the completion of the second phase of construction on the high school.
“I take all the responsibilities that I have volunteered or been elected to do very seriously and will work hard with the boards and staff and stakeholders to provide tools and resources needed to ensure both the SLC and (Blair Oaks School District) continue to provide excellent services and education to all involved,” he said.
“Personally, my wishes and prayers for 2023 are that my family and friends and all those I know or impact have a healthy, safe and good year,” he added. “I also will continue to pray for all of us to have peace and guidance from God to help all of us to work together to help others and ourselves to make our communities better.”
Lincoln University President John Moseley shared a number of goals for the new year, which are primarily focused on his role at the helm of the historically Black university and how he approaches it.
Within the next year, Moseley said he wants to create a vision for where Lincoln is going in the next five years, move project thoughts and ideas into action and “help others realize the greatness they have within themselves.”
He said his goals for 2023 involve becoming a better leader, father and husband, and facing obstacles with an unwavering spirit.
And to “achieve all of that with a smile on my face and joy in my heart.”
Mayor Carrie Tergin said her sole resolution is to finish the remainder of her term strong, because the end of her leadership nears quickly.
“I am enthused it’s a new year, and we’re talking about new beginnings, but there’s still a lot to do in the coming year,” Tergin said.
She leaves her position as mayor in April after eight years in office. The only candidate to file for the opening was Ron Fitzwater, a current councilman serving the 4th Ward.
Tergin said she’d like to see some projects come to fruition, most notably the contract finalizing redevelopment for the Missouri State Penitentiary, as well as redevelopment to some homes along the historic row of Capitol Avenue. Tergin said last month she expects a contract between the city and a developer on MSP to be finalized sometime at the beginning of the new year.
The contract, or developer’s agreement, to build hotel, conference center and some parking on the old grounds of the historic state prison was supposed to be finished sometime in the fall, however, finalizing some financing aspects of the projects caused delays. The project spans involvement from the city, county, state, federal governments and private developers.
Tergin, who more than eight years ago campaigned on prison and Capitol Avenue development, said she would like to see projects to restore dilapidated homes on the avenue progress. Before the city can accept or deny bids from people looking to restore these homes, it must seek ownership through an eminent domain lawsuit.
Steve Crowell, the city administrator, shared he doesn’t set personal resolutions any year, but instead focuses on personal and work improvements. Improvements this year highlight a focus on the city’s employees.
In a statement he sent to all staff members, Crowell said: “For the upcoming year, we plan to continue to focus on maintaining and improving the quality of life in the community, which includes supporting our incredible employees in their efforts to do so.”
He told staff the city will continue focusing on a litany of proposed projects and citywide goals. Some of what was mentioned includes: maintaining competitive employee salaries, supporting business initiatives, focusing on infrastructure planning, fiscal matters, public safety, transportation, housing stock, development of park resources and neighborhood planning.
Crowell said improving the quality of life for the community is another goal for the city, which includes, among other things, providing an environment that is safe, accessible, developing economically and historically preserved.
Parks Director Todd Spalding said this year’s resolution focuses on a personal hobby. Spalding spends his free time restoring old cars, and this year, he aims to restore a motorcycle.
“I bought an old 1992 Triumph Bonneville motorcycle that I am going to finish it and put on the road,” he said.
His resolution may be cliché, Spalding said, but he loves learning new things.
Cole County Public Works Director Eric Landwehr said he’s looking forward to improving the existing programs in his department. He said public works has a good program already in place, and he wants to build on it.
“Just continuing our program to improve the quality of our roads through how we maintain them and how we build new, with the goal that we provide the best transportation system to our citizens of Cole County,” Landwehr said.
Chief of Emergency Medical Services Eric Hoy said his big resolution is getting the new EMS headquarters building project started. He said the new headquarters will improve his department’s level of service to downtown Jefferson City.
“That’s our busiest area for call volume and being able to get that station built down there will really allow us to improve our services,” Hoy said.
For Cole County Presiding Commissioner Sam Bushman, the new year is uncertain. He said 2022 was unique, and he’s not sure what 2023 will bring.
“These are interesting times with the economy and everything going on in the world. I’m always the optimist, and I hope 2023 is going to be really good for Cole County,” Bushman said.
Cole County Western District Commissioner Harry Otto said he doesn’t usually do resolutions because he tends to break them. However, he said he wants to help his four grandsons graduate college debt-free.
“Two of them finish their college this year debt-free, so my resolution is to get the other two through debt-free as well,” Otto said. “That was always my goal with my kids; to have them out of school without debt and with a car that runs, so that’s my goal with my four grandsons.”
Otto said two of his grandsons will graduate in May from the University of Missouri and Truman State University.
Otto also said he hopes to stay healthy and be more tolerant in the new year.
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