The New Year is a fresh start for Berlin Borough residents and officials

Berlin Borough officials and Eastern Board of Education members share their New Year’s resolutions and what they look forward to in 2017.

The start of a New Year means a clean slate, new beginnings and, for some, making resolutions. Berlin Borough officials and Eastern Regional High School board members shared their resolutions, which range from spending more time with family, to eating healthier, and hoping Berlin and the entire country moves forward in a peaceful, positive direction.

Councilman Jim Pearce wants everyone to be more diplomatic and not stress out as much.

“My New Year’s resolution is to try to always find a calm resolution to any problem — personal, social and political,” he said. “2016 was a stressful year for everyone, particularly with the national election, and I think it would serve everyone well, including me, to just take a step back, breathe, relax and then revisit the situation or issue. Everyone needs to calm down a little bit!”

Councilman Rick Miller is focused on doing what’s best for him and to say “no more.”

“In order to stay focused in 2017, I must say no to things that do not help me achieve my personal and professional goals,” he said.

Chief Financial Officer and Administrator Mike Kwasizur achieved his resolution a few years ago — he quit smoking. He’s kept up with it, and now he’s aiming to de-stress from working two jobs and eat healthier.

“I was being more healthy by quitting smoking in the past, but recently I put on some weight and I don’t want to keep that up,” he said. “I also hope to work a little bit less.”

Municipal Clerk Lois Sahini doesn’t have New Year’s resolutions, but instead a list of things she either wants to accomplish or things that have to get done throughout the year.

“I feel like it’s an added pressure; if someone doesn’t do their resolution, they feel disappointed, so I don’t get myself up for that,” she said. “I have a list of ongoing things I want to get done and I get them done. That way, there’s no disappointment. I have a more positive outlook as far as what expectations are and to always make it where there’s something to aim for.”

Eastern Board of Education member Hilary Garr, a board member for 18 years who was recently re-elected for another term, wants to exercise more, but she’s happy with how things are going in her life. With all the changes that have taken place over the last few months, she hopes the community moves forward in a positive direction, despite everyone’s differences.

“I feel like I’m at a place in my life where my kids are happy, they are successful and I’m happy in my career,” she said. “I hope our community has the patience and balance to keep everything moving ahead in a positive way. As individuals, we have to do our best in our local communities and move on from there.”

Fellow board member Elena Chow wants to spend more time with her granddaughter.

“She’s at that age where she’s involved in the orchestra and lives two hours away, but I’ll try to get down and see her more often,” she said.

Bob Paul, another board member, wants to eat healthier and get back to following the Paleo lifestyle like he did earlier this year. Most importantly, he hopes to not undergo any surgeries, unlike previous years.

“I had hip surgery last year and foot surgery the year before,” he said. “I’m going to Disney World in October and the following Friday going to New Orleans. I have to be ready for those trips.”

Berlin Community Elementary School health and physical education teacher Matt Jenkins is excited for 2017 and has two resolutions — lose some weight and play more with his 3-year-old son, even if he’s exhausted after a full day of work.

“I feel that he’s always excited to play, and I remember being the same when I was a kid,” he said. “It always stunk when my parents were too busy and couldn’t play with me, so I’m going to make a change for the new year and be conscious of him … rather than ignore and just plop on the couch. It’s the least I can do for my little guy who has made my life incredible.

I’m excited for the New Year to bring new adventures in life, traveling, learning and growing. There’s a lot to look forward to, and life is always full of surprises, so bring on 2017!”