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This has been a banner year for pessimists. Glasses all over the country are half full. Some would say a bleak outlook is a reasonable one.

Readers of this paper know we have had our share of discouragement and disappointment this year in actions taken and not taken by our School Boards and our City officials. At some point, though, caviling becomes a luxury.

In that vein, we would like to acknowledge some energizing moments on our bumpy way to the livable city.

City staff led by City Manager Wally Bobkiewicz have been dogged in their pursuit of a balanced budget. As we said in our Oct. 18 editorial, we felt they were looking for savings in what we felt were some of the wrong places. We appreciate their continued search for savings and revenues.

We feel some sense of relief, because aldermen appear to have agreed that the safety of the community is paramount by keeping Fire Station 4 open and by holding vacant positions open rather than eliminating them altogether. They have also apparently agreed to restore Mental Health Board funding to its 2018 level, which will help many local organizations provide critical services to our vulnerable residents. That some measure of funding for the arts has been restored shows that Council members understand that our social fabric has a soul as well as a body.

No one doubts that these decisions are difficult. In this climate of nationwide and Citywide unease, these decisions will likely not set well on many residents.

Council members have signed up to be the ones to decide who is going to bear the costs of their decisions. Uncomfortable as many of may feel about what may be coming, we must thank Council members and City employees for their service.