The Lompoc Christmas Parade is behind us, all the Christmas displays are up and running and the city electric division is counting more revenue from all those home lighting themes.

I did a quick internet search and discovered Santa is busy carbo-loading Donner and Blitzen so they can help the other reindeer drag his heavy sleigh around the world. Not to be left out, Rudolph is pounding energy drinks so his nose will be bright enough to guide the team toward your house.

Hopefully the Environmental Protection Agency rules concerning greenhouse gasses won’t sidetrack the mission.

I made a list of things Santa can bring. It’s long and may bring joy or sadness depending on your perspective.

For the Lompoc economy, it’s starting to move in the right direction but more can be done to exploit the city’s infrastructure. For example, a better plan is needed to market all available recreational resources. Millions were spent to build a community center, but it’s rarely used, and never to its full capacity.

A plan that includes infrastructure improvement — sod replacement and gopher abatement — and an active tournament schedule for every youth and adult sport would bring thousands of visitors to use our hotels, gas stations, sporting goods stores and restaurants each year. The goal of this plan should be to reduce the amount needed from the General Fund for recreation, then this money could be diverted to public safety.

For the work of the Beautification Committee and all those who have contributed time and money to fixing up the city I extend a hearty thank you.

But there are scores of people in this town who somehow feel the city streets are trash cans. I see lots of trash scattered all over town, in some areas it is far worse than others. Others feel the need to mark public spaces with graffiti as if it were their space to use.

Homeless encampments are all over the city and vagrants can be seen sleeping in front of businesses on H Street. The shopping carts they steal to haul their cans and plastic to recycle centers are abandoned nearby and then they take new ones.

Those folks who disrespect our city should try to get a grip on their personal issues and treat public spaces like they would their own homes. Parents need to educate their children through their own actions — don’t toss that cigarette butt or fast-food container out the window. Put trash in a can.

For the City Council I hope its members can figure out what their role is as an elected official. They’re supposed to be serving all the people, not just pals or special interests.

Lastly, I am hoping politicians in Sacramento and Washington will someday get their hands out of my pocket. I realize that in order to get re-elected they need to deliver to constituents at home. What they are delivering is an ever-increasing amount of your money and mine from our pockets, and then into the pockets of people who offer little to the tax pot.

For the men, women and children who chose to live here, may you find continued happiness with your life choices, may you be able to stay employed or find work. May you be able to organize a wholesome life so you get the maximum satisfaction while living within your means.

Merry Christmas to one and all.

Ron Fink is a local activist and can be reached at: