Predictions are fickle art. It seems almost the moment you prognosticate, it undoubtedly won’t come true. Well, in 2013 I gave it my best and I got a few predictions right, while getting a few wrong as well.
So before we look ahead, here are some of my predictions from two years ago.
To start, I predicted Gov. Jerry Brown would announce his re-election in 2013. While the governor did run and ultimately coast to re-election, he put off his announcement until eight months before the election. Thus, I got that prediction wrong.
I also predicted that California State University campuses would have a oneyear reprieve from tuition increases. I was wrong. Not only did CSU avoid tuition hikes, in 2013 CSU and UC schools froze tuition for 2013 and 2014. Perhaps it’s just a coincidence, but after November’s election, the UC Board of Regents voted to raise tuition by 28 percent over five years.
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Meanwhile, Brown’s prison realignment plan has resulted in the early release of thousands felons and caused overcrowding of local jails. This led me to predict that crime would increase in San Luis Obispo County in 2013. Unfortunately, I got this one right. According to the state Department of Justice, our county’s violent crime rate increased by more than 18 percent.
I also correctly predicted that Debbie Arnold would bring a fresh perspective and approach to county government — she certainly has. (Full disclosure, I have worked for both Debbie Arnold and Lynn Compton.) One example, in December Supervisor Arnold was the lone vote against a 5 percent pay raise for supervisors. Arnold said she believed our tax dollars would be better spent on county services — it’s hard to disagree.
While for some the art of predictions has become more of a science with the combination of big data and regression analysis, I still rely on the good ol’- fashioned educated guess. Here are my best attempts at predicting 2015 events in San Luis Obispo County.
1. Newly elected Supervisor Lynn Compton will join Supervisors Debbie Arnold and Frank Mecham and work to hold the line on taxes and halt the growth of government.
2. After more than five years, Diablo Canyon’s relicensing will be approved. The nuclear plant will continue to provide clean and renewable energy for years.
3. San Luis Obispo County’s job crisis will continue. Unless more private industry jobs arrive in the county, the drop in unemployment will continue to be driven by people leaving the workforce and others settling for part-time work.
4. Water shortages, especially in North County, will persist. While I hope I am wrong, the drought will continue in 2015.
5. If the election for a new Paso Robles groundwater basin water district goes forward, the measure will be voted down by a majority of property owners in the basin who oppose another layer of larger, more expansive government that could endanger property rights.
Regardless of politics and what transpires in 2015, let’s remember we are all fortunate to live on the Central Coast and enjoy the natural beauty of this region. Here’s to hoping for a prosperous year for our families and community.