The start of a new year is usually the time to vow to do better, to change in the months ahead, to improve from the year just passed.

But spring is the true season of renewal, of belief all things are possible.

So, in that spirit, with the temperatures stretching toward 50 and baseball back in play, here are some things to hope for in the months to come.

After a long, cold and unproductive winter, the Derry Town Council may be heading into a new era. Perhaps it’s not quite a sunshine-and-flower-filled future, but councilors did manage to agree on the qualifications they’re seeking in the town’s next administrator. The most recent council meeting could honestly be described as cordial and members’ attention was correctly focused on the matters at hand.

Speaking of town administrators, boy, does Derry need one. Casting no aspersions in the direction of acting administrator Larry Budreau, the selection of a new leader is long past due. It’s too bad the Town Council decided to save some pocket change and conduct the search on its own, but here’s wishing them well in that process. It’s true, the town hasn’t had a great recent history in its choices for the top job, so here’s hoping it works out this time — and soon.

The Town Council finally agreed to fund repairs to the downtown Adams Memorial Opera House to the tune of $150,000. Add in $20,000 from a state grant for painting and plaster and this venerable building should end up looking pretty good at the end of August. Let’s hope the structural repairs go as anticipated and the lost 100 balcony seats are restored to use. This building is a true gem and should be a true bright light on Broadway.

And, yes, then there’s Broadway. Despite repeated attempts to “revitalize” downtown Derry, empty storefronts remain, the alleged parking shortage unnoticed. Previous attempts to draw attention and business to the area were overloaded with brainstorming sessions and flip charts now gathering dust in some municipal closet. Derry needs to capitalize on what’s already here — broad sidewalks, some interesting architecture, a few good restaurants and, yes, plenty of parking. A couple of businesses have opened recently, but more are needed. Here’s hoping others discover downtown.

There are some things to hope for in Londonderry, too.

There seems to be some kind of magnetic attraction to Pettengill Road, a good thing. Londonderry has room to grow, especially out near the airport and the town’s sales pitch is working. But the town also has the specter of the massive Woodmont Commons development casting a very large shadow over the future. It’s a 20-year project that will change the town forever. The hope should be for very careful review of each piece of the pie by town boards and employees.

There’s also hope that Londonderry dogs will run free this summer in an enclosed area all their own. Derry’s dog park is wildly popular, with two- and four-legged visitors alike. But Fido and Spot in Londonderry are desperate for a park to call their own. It’s not for lack of trying by the study committee. Maybe this season will be one to celebrate and a site will be chosen and approved.

So, as the weather improves and there’s nothing but a puddle left of winter, remember the words of Alexander Pope, “Hope springs eternal.”

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