The annual State of the City luncheon can sometimes be thick with unjustified optimism. But while plenty of rose-colored glasses were in evidence at the 2012 edition, held Tuesday in downtown Bakersfield, the facts as laid out by City Manager Alan Tandy and others seem to support the widespread notion that better times are ahead.

Bakersfield will be able to add city staff for the first time in six years, freeway construction is moving aggressively ahead, and the Blaze baseball team now has what every sports city, at virtually every level of professional affiliation, covets most: local ownership.

Turns out 2011-12 wasn't as bad as the headlines might lead us to believe. The biggest cloud on the horizon is the city's impasse with the police union. Let's hope that comes to a mutually amenable conclusion soon.