---- — Another year is in our rearview mirror. Goodbye, 2013. It seems we hardly got to know you. You came and went so fast. Such is life. The older we get, the quicker the years seem to pass.
There is little doubt in our minds 2014’s visit will zoom by just as quickly. Still there’s plenty to be accomplished in the next 365 days.
We remain nearly two years away from our city elections (November 2015). But, as our U.S. democracy dictates, the 2014 mid-term elections will be in full force in 2014. Both of our local U.S. representatives will be up for re-election — Republicans Jackie Walorski (2nd District) and Marlin Stutzman (3rd District). Walorski is in the middle of her first term while Stutzman is in the middle of his second term.
DURING THE 16-DAY shutdown of the federal government in 2013, both Walorski and Stutzman stayed true to their conservative ideologies and voted against the eventual agreement to end the shutdown. Since the shutdown was so unpopular with the American public, it will be interesting to see if there is a post-shutdown affect at the polls. Walorski’s district is far less conservative than Stutzman’s, so that may be where we see it.
Speaking of city elections, Goshen Mayor Allan Kauffman has said this is his last term in office. He finished out Mike Puro’s term and has since been re-elected four times. With a May 2015 primary looming, contenders should begin emerging by the end of the year. Democrats have held the office for the past two decades.
It could prove to be a big year for transportation in Goshen. The Indiana Department of Transportation is considering a plan to reroute U.S. 33 through Goshen. The proposed route would include a two-lane elevated highway to run parallel to the Norfolk-Southern tracks from Pike and Fifth Streets crossing Ind. 4 and the Marion Branch of the tracks before descending and reconnecting to the current route at Monroe Street in front of Goshen High School.
IF APPROVED, it would be the most significant upgrade to transportation through the city since the completion of the Ind. 15 overpass in the early 1980s. An additional overpass over the Marion Branch tracks at Regent Street on the south end of the city is also progressing.
Speaking of the high school, the much publicized $17.15 million construction project for GHS and Goshen Middle School will get underway. It was approved by a public referendum this past November. It will include a new swimming pool. The current pools at the two facilities will be closed and those spaces repurposed to benefit other programs and needs.
We are grateful for the strides made in Goshen in recent years in improving infrastructure and quality of life in Goshen. We are confident 2014 will keep us moving forward. Happy New Year.