Pignanelli and Webb: Happy New Year! Welcome to what is going to be an interesting and exciting political year. We won't see great electoral drama this year, although the Ogden and Salt Lake City mayoral races will be worth watching. But fascinating political theater will play out as the presidential election starts rolling, as divided government in Washington attempts to tackle hard issues, and as redistricting and posturing for 2012 occur in Utah.
We asked a couple dozen political and civic leaders to share with us their resolutions for 2011. We invited them to be humorous or serious, and include both personal and political resolutions if they wished. A number were on holiday vacations and didn't respond, but a good assortment did:
Gov. Gary Herbert: Promote economic growth, enhance education funding, encourage energy development and rural prosperity and make sure that after the next Clear the Air Challenge my log sheets get turned in.
Lt. Gov. Greg Bell: Personal: Be younger next year. Political: Help to resolve the immigration issue in Utah. Happy New Year to everyone!
Sen. Orrin Hatch. My New Year's resolution will be to hit the ground running as the Republican leader on the Senate Finance Committee and do everything in my power to reduce spending, stop tax hikes, and help bring our budget back into balance.
Salt Lake County Mayor Peter Corroon: Political: Say only nice things about my political opponents. Personal: Spend more time with my family.
Salt Lake City Mayor Ralph Becker: Unlike Jed Clampett, my resolution is that no more bubblin' crude, black gold or Texas tea comes up through the ground this year.
Congressman Jason Chaffetz: Cut up the government credit card and limit my bacon cheeseburgers to eight per week.
Civic Leader and Zions Bank CEO Scott Anderson: Return to profitability. Stop answering e-mails after 11 p.m. Contribute to our state's economic recovery by providing financing to as many qualified individuals and businesses as possible. No more speeding tickets.
Wasatch Front Regional Council Executive Director Andrew Gruber: Professional: Move toward implementing the Wasatch Choice for 2040, the land-use and transportation "Vision" for the Wasatch Front developed by elected officials and the public to improve our quality of life as our region experiences dramatic growth. Personal: Make frequent "research" trips into the canyons.
Utah Republican Chairman Dave Hansen: To read, answer, respond to, or otherwise dispose of the 5,328 unread e-mails and 39 unanswered voice mails I have, and to keep my e-mails and voice mails answered daily this next year.
Utah World Trade Center CEO Lew Cramer. Personal: Either achieve world peace or enjoy synchronized traffic lights in downtown Salt Lake City. Unfortunately, both appear too complex and unattainable for 2011. Political: Encourage our great state to become even more globally-minded in 2011. World Trade Center Utah's informal slogan for 2011: WTCU is the Home Depot of international exporting — "You can do it; we can help!"
Sen. Ross Romero. As the new Senate Minority Leader, amplify the Senate Democrats' voice and advocacy without being perceived as being disagreeable.
House Majority Leader Brad Dee. Personal: Prioritize Family First. Political: Foster an era of trust and respect in the Utah House of Representatives.
Sen. Pat Jones. Personal: Read more. Laugh more. Buy fewer shoes. Political: Stand up for mainstream Utahns.
West Valley City Mayor Mike Winder: Personal: Publish a children's book about what mayors do that my kids keep asking me to write. Political: Keep the positive momentum from the Valley Fair Mall redevelopment moving westward as we begin West Valley's City Center development and welcome light rail.
Hinckley Institute of Politics Director Kirk Jowers. Personal: Get more people engaged in politics, policy, and governing. Political: Reform laws and practices that disenfranchise, disengage, and discourage political participation. For example, improve Utah's peculiar caucus/convention system that prevents over 99 percent of all Utahns a meaningful vote and campaign finance laws that, unlike 45 other states, allows unlimited political contributions.
Webb: Continue to write cogent, insightful, inspiring, persuasive political analysis defending conservative values, in contrast to Pignanelli's regurgitation of tedious, out-dated, imprudent Democratic positions. Be more awestruct by my wife's wondrous willingness to put up with me for 35 years. Oh, and help Lew Cramer achieve world peace.
Pignanelli: Stop screaming and swearing at my children; refrain from grumping at my wife; exert more patience toward LaVarr with the understanding that he does not possess my enlightenment; try to achieve the ultimate in tolerance through the struggle of discerning one cogent thought from Glenn Beck (no promises).
Republican LaVarr Webb is a political consultant and lobbyist. Previously he was policy deputy to Gov. Mike Leavitt and Deseret News managing editor. E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. Democrat Frank Pignanelli is Salt Lake attorney, lobbyist and political adviser. Pignanelli served 10 years in the Utah House of Representatives, six years as minority leader. His spouse, D'Arcy Dixon Pignanelli, is a state tax commissioner. E-mail: email@example.com.