This is what happened Tuesday:
We chose our future.
It's no more complicated than that, really.
One can, if one chooses, parse all the nuanced reasons school levies succeeded or Sandusky and Port Clinton voters gave the OK stamp to waterfront developments in their respective communities. Bottom line is, we thought about our futures and decided we'd rather have them than not.
We chose to fund our schools, despite the mess in Columbus that keeps them from being funded equitably, or so a judge in Perry County ruled, a dozen years ago. We chose to look at an incomparable asset many of our communities share in common and decided, let's make use of it. In all cases, we figured it was better to take the chance than do nothing and settle into a complacent slide into oblivion.
In so doing, we set ourselves challenges, because it's going to be really easy to let the effort that culminated in Tuesday's successes rot into nothing -- because Tuesday's successes were only a start.
The schools will have to make effective use of the money we voted them -- and, yes, family involvement will be a key part of that. The projects slated for the Port Clinton and Sandusky waterfronts will have to show solid (and, yes, adaptable) progress.
And those improvements will have to be seed with which more durable improvements -- those new-technology, diversified-manufacturing jobs Columbus says will be the keystone of Ohio's future -- can be attracted and built upon.
This area has met change before, and succeeded with it. We went from agricultural to industrial to commercial to tourist, and found ways to function. We'll have to do it again.
Tuesday, we took the first steps toward making that possible.