It’s a brand-new year, bringing opportunities for fresh looks at old problems, new dynamics in cooperation and teamwork, and confidence that we can weather whatever challenges we face.

Randy Rowse

Randy Rowse (Noozhawk file photo)

We need robust communication and calm logic to replace the hyperbole and fear that’s plagued us all in recent times.

This new year I hope we all look at our public safety personnel in the same light we did during the Thomas Fire, the Montecito debris flows and other events that tested those resources. We expect superior performance and we are blessed with some of the best personnel in the business.

I hope that all government agencies — from local to state to federal — can find a way to work collaboratively to achieve the levels of service we deserve for our investment of tax dollars.

Partisan politics often hinder our trek to that promised land. Government isn’t always the answer, nor should it be the problem. Thoughtful and focused governance is desired by our constituents. I will be reaching out to my colleagues to build cooperation.

Lastly, my fondest wish and greatest focus will be to expedite our return to economic prosperity and social normalcy to the extent possible. We have a head start in that we live in one of the most beautiful places on the planet, and a community esprit de corps that is our great advantage.

I’m ready to work for you.

To health, prosperity and happiness!

— Randy Rowse is Santa Barbara’s mayor-elect. The opinions expressed are his own.