Whitewater Predictions for 2016

Here’s my amateur version of the late William Safire’s long-standing tradition of offering annual predictions. The list for 2016, the FW ninth-annual edition:

1. Whitewater’s economy will
A. Expand along with the American economy
B. Expand more slowly than the American economy
C. Be stagnant
D. Fall into recession

2. For the Whitewater Schools, the biggest issue will be
A. Budgetary
B. Academic
C. Athletic
D. Of the arts and music

3. Local government’s efforts to reach out, generally, to residents to encourage participation in government affairs will be a
A. Smashing success
B. Slight success
C. Slight disappointment
D. Significant disappointment

4. Local government’s efforts to reach out, specifically, to Hispanic residents to encourage participation in government affairs will be a
A. Smashing success
B. Slight success
C. Slight disappointment
D. Significant disappointment

5. In the April 5 primary election, Whitewater’s electorate will be
A. Predominantly Democratic
B. Predominantly Republican
C. Roughly split between the major parties
D. Impossible to determine

6. In the November 8 general election, Whitewater’s electorate will be
A. Predominantly Democratic
B. Predominantly Republican
C. Roughly split between the major parties
D. Impossible to determine

7. On November 8, Whitewater will vote between major-party candidates
A. Clinton and Rubio
B. Clinton and Cruz
C. Sanders and Bush
D. Sanders and Trump

8. For UW-Whitewater, the biggest issue will be
A. Budgetary
B. Academic
C. Athletic
D. Campus relations and sexual assault prevention

9. The biggest community event of 2016 will be the
A. July 4th events @ Cravath
B. City Market
C. Christmas Parade
D. Run Whitewater

10. The surprising development of 2016 will be the
A. Discovery of gold beneath the Starin Park water tower
B. Discovery of a witches’ coven beneath the Starin Park water tower
C. End of one local print newspaper
D. Departure of one local leader

Adams’s guesses for 2016:

1. Whitewater’s economy will
C. Be stagnant.  Huge public spending, with even millions more due in the next few years, will leave Whitewater mired in an uncompetitive position.

2. For the Whitewater Schools, the biggest issue will be
A. Budgetary.  Budgetary, sadly, as this district can’t get traction on any other issue.  Efforts to tout academic accomplishments even when sincere are far less read than insiders think (or hope).  It’s mostly the same small circle of people reading and writing for each other.

3. Local government’s efforts to reach out, generally, to residents to encourage participation in government affairs will be a
D. Significant disappointment.  Local government can’t sell itself on a message of perimeter fence-building and come on gang, let’s put on a show.  Whitewater’s local government has reached peak cheerleader: what insiders describe as all Whitewater is now a declining minority within the city.

4. Local government’s efforts to reach out, specifically, to Hispanic residents to encourage participation in government affairs will be a
D. Significant disappointment.  Local government can’t sell itself on a Spanish-language message of perimeter fence-building and come on gang, let’s put on a show.   Whitewater’s local government has reached peak cheerleader: the Hispanic community in Whitewater is a growing minority within the city, one that doesn’t need locals to guide them in a feeble, pro-government direction.

5. In the April 5 primary election, Whitewater’s electorate will be 
C. Roughly split between the major parties.  Republicans may still have a presidential primary race on their hands; Democrats will have settled on Sec. Clinton by April 5.  What might otherwise be a predominantly Democratic electorate in a presidential year will be less so in April, where Democrats will have less immediately at stake.

6. In the November 8 general election, Whitewater’s electorate will be
A. Predominantly Democratic.  Not hard to pick this one – the Democratic candidate will carry the city, and the state.

7. On November 8, Whitewater will vote between major-party candidates
B. Clinton and Cruz.  Sec. Clinton will, effectively, wrap up the primary race by April; Sen. Cruz will win in a more protracted GOP primary contest.

8. For UW-Whitewater, the biggest issue will be
D. Campus relations and sexual assault prevention.  This issue’s not going away; attempts to ignore the issue will make matters far worse.  The UW System, itself, will find this a 2016 issue, beyond UW-Whitewater (although our local campus is an administrative bastion of act utilitarians.)

9. The biggest community event of 2016 will be the
A. July 4th @ Cravath.  July 4th wins, but the Discover Whitewater series is probably secure as an ongoing Whitewater tradition (the fourth annual’s on 9.18.16).

witch10. The surprising development of 2016 will be the
B. Discovery of a witches’ coven beneath the Starin Park water tower.  Whitewater – a beautiful but sometimes troubled place – certainly has at least one witch left, waiting to make her reappearance.  We needn’t worry – here in our version of the Emerald City, I’ve no doubt that she will meet her Oz.

All will be well.