2010 is coming to a close. As we think about all the preparations we do this time of year for Thanksgiving, Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa and the New Year, we look back on the year that was.

My year was so full — with both good and not-so-good things.

I started the year becoming city council president with the good hopes of making so many changes for the district and the city. You and I accomplish so much together and I’m so grateful and thankful for my constituents.

We worked together to build the new Dek Hockey facility in Marmaduke Park, the recent groundbreaking in Riverview Park will soon be a new soccer complex, and we held the ribbon cuttings at both Washburn Square in Brightwood and the very successful first-ever Troy Hill Cancer Walk. We are working together to refurbish all our war memorials and monuments and to resolve landlord / tenant issues.

Also, the City will be testing asphalt recycling equipment, the research for which I spearheaded. I’m also thrilled to see how much we’ve accomplished as we celebrated the 20th anniversary of the Northside Partnership between Allegheny General Hospital and the Northside Leadership Conference.

Council, with your input, is working on the city parking and pension issues and to keep dangerous Marcellus Shale natural gas drilling out of the City of Pittsburgh.

You are the reason I became a city councilperson. So many of you I know personally. Many of you I know your families and friends. It is so important to me when you walk up to me and introduce yourselves or I introduce myself to you. You know I’m a part of you — I’m a life-long Northsider and we will take care of our neighborhoods together.

I remember growing up on the Northside during the holidays — going to the Market House shopping for the holiday dinners and decorations and caroling at the church. The holidays have always been a wonderful time for me and my family.

Then, there was my illness. Through July, August and September, you kept me going with your cards, letters, flowers, prayers and so much more. My staff received so many calls from people who didn’t leave their names asking how I felt and saying they would pray for my recovery. I’m so thankful and appreciative to all of you for caring about me so much. You helped me mend. And, while I’m not back to full speed yet, I know I will be soon.

To all, Happy Holidays and a blessed and peaceful Christmas full of love. God Bless Us — Everyone!