My predictions for 2012 resulted in the mixed bag of “hits” and “misses” featured in my last column. Friends seem to point out the misses more often than they comment on the hits.
Foretelling the future is risky but the reactions to my off-the-wall predictions are as funny as watching the sneezing monkey on the David Letterman show. Here are my 2013 predictions:
• The decision to tear down the not-yet-paid-for Georgia Dome and replace it with a new billion dollar facility is a done deal. The Georgia General Assembly will reluctantly pass controversial legislation to increase the borrowing limit of the Georgia World Congress Center Authority to make this con job a reality. The new facility will include more luxury skyboxes for the privileged and a $300 million retractable roof.
• The field of candidates in the race for Peachtree City mayor will be crowded. Mayor Don Haddix wants to keep his job. Council Member Vanessa Fleisch announced her candidacy early and Harold Logsdon supporters are urging him to run for his former post. At least one candidate with little name recognition will come out of the woodwork. This writer predicts four or more candidates will qualify for the race by the August deadline.
• She has not made an announcement but it is unlikely Peachtree City Council member Kim Learnard will run for reelection to post number three. Vanessa Fleisch is vacating Post 4 to run for mayor leaving two open council spots up for grabs.
Retired Army colonel and Silver Star recipient Mike King may run for one post and retired Peachtree City Police Captain Terry Ernst will seek the other position. Don Haddix’s confidant Joshua Bloom, former Planning Commission Chairman Patrick Staples and former council member Steve Boone are also being encouraged to run for council posts.
• Harold Bost, co-founder of the Fayette County Issues Tea Party, and some tea party activists will make a concerted effort to influence and, perhaps, take over the Fayette County Republican Party in 2013.
• Former Fayette County Commission Chairman Greg Dunn will begin reviving his political career in 2013.
• The General Assembly will have the longest legislative session in modern times. Major fights on the budget and ethics reform will give legislators reason to stay in Atlanta until the end of April. Look for failed legislation on gun control and changes in the distribution of lottery proceeds.
• The General Assembly will also pass controversial enabling legislation to establish procedures for disgruntled parents to vote on converting underperforming public schools to state-run charters without involvement of local boards of education.
• The upcoming debt ceiling debate in Washington sets the stage for Congress to continue kicking the can down the road as it did with the fiscal cliff crisis. Congress will again demonstrate an inability to cut the federal budget or reduce the unsustainable budget deficit.
• At least one of President Obama’s cabinet nominees will withdraw or be rejected by the Senate.
• The Fayette County Board of Education, with two new members, will perform admirably under the leadership of Chairperson Marion Key. It faces a $15 million shortfall and decisions to reduce staff and/or close schools will be unpopular with parents and staff.
The level-headed guidance of Interim Superintendent Dan Colwell is a major plus for the new board. Citizens can expect a movement to defer the search for a new superintendent and extend Colwell’s tenure for another year.
• The well-intended members of the Fayette County Commission will begin the year with unity and a strong spirit of cooperation. They will be fighting like cats and dogs before the end of the year.
• Proponents of the Fayette College and Career Academy will apply for a competitive grant from the state and receive in excess of $2 million in start-up money.
• The hurried resignation of Peachtree City Fire Chief Ed Eiswerth gives the Peachtree City Council an opportunity to review police and fire department travel policies, staffing, budget and delivery of services. The review will result in a single public safety department headed by one director and more restrictive travel policies for employees.
• The Sandy Creek High School football team will win another state championship in 2013.
• The Atlanta Braves will win 90 or more games and the team’s post-season performance will be improved. The starting rotation of Hudson, Medlen, Minor, Maholm and Beachy will be the best in the National League. Kris Medlen will win 20 games and receive the Cy Young Award. The talented Jordan Schafer will go to spring training with his head screwed on right, win the starting job in left field and be the leadoff hitter on opening day.
• The National Football League teams that will advance to the Super Bowl are the San Francisco 49ers and the New England Patriots. The Patriots will win in a close game.
• My beloved and talented Georgia Bulldogs will finish in the top ten again but will not win a national championship until a better coaching staff is assembled in Athens. I predict a 10-2 record in the regular season. The rival Georgia Tech Yellow Jacket defense will improve significantly with Ted Roof as defensive coordinator. The team will finish strong with an 8-4 record.
• The Atlanta Falcons will have a difficult schedule in 2013 and finish with a 9-7 record. The defense will continue to excel but there will be a surge of fan unhappiness with quarterback Matt Ryan and the reckless passing game that seems to fascinate the coaching staff.
[Scott Bradshaw, a resident of Peachtree City, is a real estate broker and residential real estate developer. His mother’s family has owned property in what is now Peachtree City since 1820, before the formation of Fayette County. He may be contacted at email@example.com.]