Out with the old, in with the new. As we close out 2009 and head towards the second decade of the new millennium, many people are thinking just that.

To be quite honest, I’m looking forward to the new year. And have been for a couple months now. I’m not superstitious or whatever, but something tells me that when I change calendars, everything will be different. And by different, I mean better.

Except in local politics, where things will be the same.

Last week, the Niagara County Legislature dusted off the old harebrained idea that we need a Niagara County Department of Homeland Security. The only real debate seems to be how to pay for it … and who it should be. But in principal, the vast majority of the legislators seem to agree that Niagara County, population 200,000, needs another layer of bureaucracy in our first responders community.

Take a minute and say it out loud. “The Niagara County Department of Homeland Security.”

Does it sound normal to anyone? Cause it sure doesn’t sound normal to me. And for the life of me, I can’t figure out the need for it, except maybe to give somebody’s cousin a job.

To be completely honest, I’m not entirely sure what the purpose of the United States Department of Homeland Security is, except to dole money out to fire departments across the country so that members of congress can look good.

Think about the number of times you hear or read “Homeland Security” in the media. Every once in a while, it’s about a guy getting hauled off a plane with a book of matches posteriorly located. Most of the time its a story about a funds coming from some congressman’s office and going to some local municipality.

So it’s kind of like a slush fund. With guns.

And Niagara County is hoping to get some of that slush fund money in order to create its own department of homeland security. Cause we all know government money is free.

I’ll never understand these guys – the government types. Every year they complain about the budget and how they can’t afford to do anything. And yet, every year they grow government at the expense of our pocketbooks. And every year, we put them back in office.

So much for out with the old and in with the new, huh?

I don’t know about you, but 2010 is the year I plan to take over the world. Or at least my world. I plan to do everything right. Get a great job. A swanky new home. Be true to my school. Maybe a nice vacation in the Mediterranean. The whole shebang. Of course, I had similar plans in 2009. Let’s not go there.

I plan to start my new year at the big ball drop in Lockport. They’ve been doing a ball drop in Lockport for a few years now, but this year my friend Gary Chapman took the gig over and has grown it exponentially. Fireworks, a petting zoo, bounce houses, tasty food. I was even promised a pair of those 2010 glasses you’ll be seeing around town.

It’s definitely different than I started 2009. But considering how well 2009 has gone, different can only be good.

Out with the old.

In with the new.