Chronicle Editorial

Progress on dispatchers’ negotiations encouraging

      Developments with ongoing contract negotiations involving the local emergency dispatchers have provided renewed hope to an issue that’s proved quite troublesome in recent years.

                Both the county supervisors and Hampton City Council approved a letter of understanding that outlined the terms of employment when the dispatchers make the switch from the Hampton Police Department to the Franklin County Law Enforcement Center. The document outlined things like salary and other benefits, but by no means sets anything in stone. The dispatchers and their labor union representatives must OK the terms and conditions of their employment before officials and make further progress.

                There’s still an air of uncertainty surrounding the issue, but it’s refreshing to see some headway. The dispatchers’ transition and the intricacies of the switch have been a point of contention for the past two-plus years. The process has been drawn out, but there appears to be some light at the end of the tunnel after this recent progress.

                The issue was touch and go during this summer. Negotiations fell flat, and skepticism about whether or not a deal could be reached was indeed heavy. However, officials from both the county and city level got together and hashed out their differences in August, and it seemed to be just what the doctor ordered. Legal council was brought in and cooperation between the two entities improved overall.

                This issue isn’t over, but it appears to be headed in the right direction. The move will benefit the county through improved services and technology at the new facility once the fine details are ironed out and each entity comes to terms with the switch. A lot of time, negotiation and legal wrangling have gone into this issue during the past two years, and it’s great to finally see marked progress.

 

Out with the old, in with the new

      As the New Year beckons, it’s hard not to look back in the rearview at the past 365 days. Like most years before it, 2013 flashed before our eyes, a mere flicker in the shuffle that is our lives. It’s certainly hard to believe one year has come and gone already.

                The last fleeting days of an old year are often a time for reflection. It’s important to look back on the events that shaped those 12 months – successes, failures, lessons learned and loved ones lost. It is here where we can take the time to realize the importance certain instances have had on ourselves while at the same time recognizing the insignificance of others.

                Some folks may hold each New Year to loft expectations, but it’s important to set realistic goals for 2014. After all, you don’t want your dreams falling flat within the first couple of months and souring the rest. The promise of greener pastures and a clean slate is certainly a welcoming sight for many, but we can’t get over zealous.

                Obviously, we hope 2014 provides more good than it does bad. Without the fresh start the New Year provides, it would be difficult to shake 2013’s baggage. Here’s to hoping all your lottery tickets are winners, your businesses flourish and you accomplish all your goals in 2014. Have a safe and eventful New Year!