Our View: Keeping our heads above water | SierraSun.com

Our View: Keeping our heads above water

With the arrival of 2009, the new year will bring new opportunities, as well as daunting new challenges.

It will not take long to realize how daunting those challenges really are. Next week, Governor Schwarzenegger will unveil his 18-month budget ” the first such budget in California history ” that will likely strike every facet of our economy. The Governor will strive to fill a $42 billion budget deficit and, in doing so, will alter our state in a way many of us have never seen. The effects that funnel down to Truckee and North Tahoe will be significant.

Nonprofits will see budgets frozen or cut. In fact, many conservation grants have already been slung into the icebox. Health and human services grants are likely to come next and, with it, a decrease in local services. Public safety will also take a hit, and already has, as Placer County announced closures to its Kings Beach and Carnelian Bay offices.

Retail business will also struggle. Real estate offices will continue to see the volume of homes flatlining. And newspapers will not be immune. As one local nonprofit director said recently, “It’s not just raining on us. It’s raining on everyone.”

The question, then, is how to innovate in order to survive, assuming that our recent economic freefall will only begin to rebound in late 2009, if not 2010. And nobody is sure we will ever return the utopian economies of the early-aughts.

That said, we cannot spend too much time thinking about the negative without striving toward the positive. We all must work together as a community to share best business practices, treat our visitors with admiration, and remember that we are lucky to live in a beautiful area.

After all, the last time we saw the heavens open up, we noticed something. A little rain got us moving quickly to a place where we could stay dry, where we could all be a lot more comfortable.

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