Gilroy’s place: still a great haven

As we ring in a new year, there is trouble in the world and we
are clearly aware that Gilroy is connected globally, like it or
not, for better and for worse. As our Gilroy Rotary Club aids the
effort in eliminating polio worldwide, a deadly car bomb goes off
in Saudi Arabia and oil prices spike.
As we ring in a new year, there is trouble in the world and we are clearly aware that Gilroy is connected globally, like it or not, for better and for worse. As our Gilroy Rotary Club aids the effort in eliminating polio worldwide, a deadly car bomb goes off in Saudi Arabia and oil prices spike. A tsunami follows a devastating earthquake halfway around the globe and we watch astounding and frightening pictures on TV and wonder how people will find their loved ones, whether or not they’re alive. As the death toll mounts, relief efforts begin and the collection plate at Gilroy churches Sunday will, no doubt, be partially reserved for those efforts.

It’s a mad world. And yet here in Gilroy, though we are not insulated from the vagaries around the globe, we are in “our own little world.”

That bubble burst this fall, when we lost one of our own fighting in Iraq. The combat death of Marine Jeramy Ailes triggered an outpouring of support and emotion in his hometown that once again exhibited the caring spirit that embodies Gilroy.

In the new year, we hope for peace and pray that all our young men and women serving in the armed forces return home safely.

And when they return, our goal should be to make sure that they come home to a town that has retained its intrinsic ability to care and its geographically distinct boundaries.

In 2005, our city will continue to be a bustling place. We are building a new police station, a new school, a new student center at Gilroy High and our retail centers straddling Highway 152 continue to add stores and customers. In addition there are welcome signs pointing toward a downtown revival that has been awaited for decades.

Our city will expand, out on Hecker Pass and in the fields behind Christmas Hill Park. That ground which for years hosted cattle and cars for Garlic Festival parking will begin to transform into the largest housing development in Gilroy history.

In contrast, the water supply for many South County residents is poisoned and the company that made the mess is not being forced to clean it up quickly. And housing prices continue to climb to record levels, forcing many of our own to live elsewhere.

As we weigh the ups and downs, let’s resolve to work on the core of Gilroy. Let’s temper our expansion with attention to the areas in our city that need attention. In 2005, let’s stay centered. Let’s make sure Gilroy remains a haven.

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