So long, 2010.” The theme of this year’s Jib Jab year in review resonates here as, likely, elsewhere. Some of us feel like we can’t make it to 2011 quickly enough.

This was a tough year. Businesses closed, workers were laid off and people stopped spending.

The massive unfunded liabilities the City owes to the police and firefighters pension funds seemed to increase geometrically, and – despite declarations that the Great Recession had ended – the economic fallout continued.

We hunkered down for a while, spending little, saving what we could, chilled within and without.

There is a modest up-side to austerity, as we learn to defer convenience in the present to strengthen the future. Conservation, re-use and downsizing make us all live more lightly on the planet.

It is stylish now to walk or bike to work or to the train. Designer water in plastic bottles is out; Evanston water right from the tap is in (once the chromium-thingy gets straightened out).

The vitality and passion of the supporters of the library demonstrated to everyone once again the spirit of this community: The life of the mind and the fabric of neighborhoods are the bricks and mortar of Evanston as much as are its public buildings.

Work has begun on repairing and stabilizing neighborhoods ravaged by vacancy and foreclosure. The City and its private partner will use $18.1 million in federal funds to rehab 100 homes (single-family homes and condominiums) and return them to the market at affordable prices.

Now we are back at the solstice, the time of the year when the sun stands still. Perhaps this community can stand still for a moment as well, exhale the past and await the new year.

We at the RoundTable wish everyone a happy new year.