Resolving to positively impact county

By AMY JONES / Associate Editor

I read Lifestyles Editor Katie McDowell’s recent story, “Local leaders share New Year’s resolutions,” with interest.

You see, every year, I struggle to make a New Year’s resolution or two that isn’t exactly the same as the year before.

“Lose 10 pounds.” “Make exercising an everyday priority.” “Try to cut down on red meat.” I feel like I’ve had those same three resolutions for the past few years, and not much has changed. I still have a couple pounds I’d like to lose, I usually take a day or two off from the treadmill per week and I still eat pork, lamb and beef way, way too much.

This year, I wanted to do something different. I hoped to be inspired by reading about the resolutions of Shelby County Schools Superintendent Randy Fuller, Montevallo Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Mary Lou Williams and Greater Shelby Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Kirk Mancer.

While all of their resolutions were worthy of note, each had one in particular that appealed to me.

I loved the thoughtfulness of Fuller’s vow to make a list of the people who have been influential in his life and, one by one, call or visit each person to let each know how much he or she meant to Fuller. Each of those people will appreciate the confirmation that his or her time made an impact on another person.

I admired Williams’ resolution to attend plays and concerts in Montevallo. Music, drama, writing and art are the beautiful, creative things in life, and each of us should take advantage of the opportunities we have to enjoy them. With museums, concerts, plays and a wonderful library system all in Shelby County, we have more opportunities than most.

I was inspired by Mancer’s intent to collaborate with community partners to improve Shelby County. Improving Shelby County is a New Year’s resolution all of us can carry out every day — whether that’s through volunteering, shopping in Shelby County, working to improve our schools or simply sharing a friendly, positive attitude with other county citizens.

As I resolve to try the same changes I’ve been attempting for years, I think I’ll add “be a good Shelby County citizen” to my list of resolutions. That may end up being the only resolution that sees success — but it is also probably the most important one on the list.

Amy Jones is the associate editor for the Shelby County Reporter. She can be reached at 669-3131 ext. 30 or by email at