EAST LIVERPOOL - Mark Twain famously said, "Now is the accepted time to make your regular annual good resolutions. Next week, you can begin paving hell with them as usual."
New Year's resolutions are notoriously easy to make and hard to keep, which is why Troy Johnson, 46, of East Liverpool, is making a couple of resolutions but not necessarily tying them to the start of the new year.
The Homer Laughlin China Co. die maker said he wants to quit smoking - again - and be more productive when he's not working.
A pack-a-day smoker, Johnson said, "I'd like to gradually wean myself off of it. ... I've done it before but always went back to it." Johnson said, one time, he quit for six months.
As for being more productive, Johnson said his resolution is to be "not quite as lazy outside of work." So far, however, he doesn't have a plan for reaching that goal.
Toni Whitla, 58, of East Liverpool, doesn't so much have a New Year's resolution as a wish - to travel with her husband, James, 59, to sunny Southern California for Christmas later this year.
Whitla said her husband moved there for a time, before they were married, when Crucible Steel in Midland, Pa., closed, and she has an aunt who lives there. "It'd be nice to spend (Christmas) in a little warmer place, outside of Ohio," she said.
Such a trip would require saving some money and going before the Christmas travel season got too hectic. "We would have a place to stay," Whitla said.
Herb Melone's resolution was also more of a wish. "I'd like to see the (Pittsburgh) Steelers play in the Super Bowl again next year," he said.
A lifelong Steelers fan, Melone, 61, of East Liverpool, said he's seen every Super Bowl that the Steelers have been in, including the 2009 contest with the Arizona Cardinals.
Melone said he feels the 8-8 Steelers got "cheated" out of the playoffs this year because of poor officiating in Sunday's Kansas City Chiefs-San Diego Chargers game in which the Chargers won 27-24 in overtime.
Chester Mayor Ken Morris said his resolution for the city in the new year is to make improvements to some deteriorating streets, sidewalks and light poles.
City Council recently agreed to study the feasibility of repainting the light poles along Carolina Avenue. Not all of the 54 poles need to be repainted, but many of them have been damaged by road salt and are "looking pretty ratty," Morris said.
City officials want to determine whether most of the work, with the exception of sandblasting, can be done in-house by the street department.
Morris said the street department also needs a new truck.
"I think we worked on quite a bit of stuff this past year," he said. "Financially, we're holding our own. I think we're doing pretty well. I don't see any major issues that we're lacking in right now."
Morris, whose current term expires this year, said he's keeping open the possibility of running for re-election. Morris has been mayor since 1992, with the exception of a four-year period in which he didn't run for election.
"I've got a couple things I'd like to see happen, and I don't think they will happen if I don't say," he said.