It’s becoming almost a cliche to say the new year will be a historic one — every year affects history in limitless ways.

But with the worldwide economy on the brink of disaster and America’s first black president taking office, it seems reasonable to expect that this year will inspire a question or two on future SATs.

As we look to the next 12 months, here is what we’d like to see in Burbank and beyond:

 A savvy new superintendent. Burbank Unified School District Supt. Gregory Bowman announced his retirement late last year, and the district has a few months to choose a new leader who can help guide the district through perilous financial times.

We hope the district will choose an individual who is not only a great communicator with schools and the public, but who also has the keen business sense to weather the economic storm.

 Civility during — and after — the April elections.

Elections have a tendency to get a little nasty — let’s try to keep it positive and clean.

No name-calling, no hit pieces and no accusations, please.

And once the new council is in place, the community deserves a civil, respectable council that demonstrates respect for one another and the community it represents.

 A smooth transition in the city manager’s office. Mary Alvord, Burbank’s beloved top executive, will be replaced this month by Assistant City Manager Mike Flad, and we hope Flad’s tenure will be as productive and noteworthy as his predecessor’s.

 No Screen Actors Guild strike. Burbank took a hit economically with the writers strike early in 2008, and we hope the actors and studios can avert a similar situation this year.

 Another great year for the environment. In 2008, Burbank proved itself once again a leader in sustainability, as city officials called for a plan to eliminate waste by 2040, and the American Lung Assn. of California held its annual Healthy Air Walk in Burbank due to the city’s high marks in controlling tobacco.

We hope Burbank will continue to lead the pack in the coming months.

 A resolution for the nighttime flight ban. While some in the Los Angeles area have disputed the Burbank-Glendale- Pasadena Airport Authority’s plan to eliminate flights to Bob Hope Airport between 10 p.m. and 7 a.m., we hope the plan succeeds and that Burbank residents are ensured a nice, quiet sleep.

 A way out of this recession. We all want to see the market rally and our 401(k)s and portfolios rebound. The financial crunch is hurting many people across the globe, especially retired folks who live on invested funds. Hopefully our leaders in Washington, Sacramento and Burbank will implement sound fiscal judgment in 2009.

City and school district officials in Burbank are bracing for more budget cuts as the state tries to dig itself out of deficit. We wish them luck and hope to see our leaders work together for the good of the people they represent.

 Best of luck to Jay Leno, who plans to stay in Burbank to film a new program five nights a week even after stepping down as host of “The Tonight Show.”

Leno, apparently, will retain the “Headlines” portion of his monologue, exposing the foibles of copy editors everywhere, and we trust that no one on our staff will write anything embarrassing enough to warrant inclusion on the show.

Lastly, we wish the best for each and every one of you in this coming year. Let’s make 2009 a year to remember.

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