Happy New Year — or at least a happier year than 2013, which, given the record of the last 12 months, won’t be all that high a bar to surmount. In 2013, the national economy failed to shake off its doldrums and the Affordable Care Act failed to live up to the promise of its backers. There will no doubt be a lot said in Pinellas County about the Nov. 4 referendum to replace the property tax levy that funds the Pinellas Suncoast Transit Authority and replace it with another extra penny of sales tax. The $100 million or so this is estimated to generate is supposed to fund an expansion of the PSTA system, including a light rail system from Clearwater to St. Petersburg. We’re still not sure how this would benefit North Pinellas. Meanwhile, we wish Tarpon Springs luck in its efforts to redevelop its downtown — before any more of it has to be razed. Pasco County will see a decision on the environmental permit from the Army Corps of Engineers for the Ridge Road extension. We don’t see how the corps could stall any longer, but it has a rare ability for this sort of thing.
Perhaps 2014 will be the year in which New Port Richey finds someone to fill its city manager vacancy, now at 15 months. Having such a hard time attracting someone acceptable says something unsettling about the state of the city.