Source: Lake Geneva Regional News

A mixed bag of prediction successes

by Lisa Seiser

January 05, 2012

In 2010 I was pretty on with my predictions. So, letís see how I did with my predictions for 2011.

The following are my 2011 predictions with an explanation of what really happened.

Prediction No. 1: Lake Geneva residents and taxpayers will start to receive some answers regarding what really happened behind the scenes regarding the Mirbeau and Hummel development proposals. It will not be good news and will cost the city, or at least the cityís insurance carrier, millions.

What happened: The Mirbeau of Geneva Lake and Geneva Ridge Joint Venture multimillion dollar lawsuits were settled and I was right that it would cost someone money.

The city and its insurance carrier agreed to settle with both plaintiffs, Mirbeau for $1.75 million and Geneva Ridge for $2.1 million. This was paid fully by the cityís insurance, which covers up to $5 million per suit. So, in the end, city taxpayers paid nothing for it and it appears the insurance rate wonít be increasing directly because of the settlements. While many told me I would be wrong on this and that the lawsuits had no validity, I was actually more right than wrong on this prediction.

But while the settlements are definitive, it appears less and less likely that we will get any detailed answers about what really happened in the background. There are many who have their own opinions. Mine generally is that the insurance company wouldnít hand over a total of $3.85 million without some evidence of city officialís wrongdoing. However, if the developerís cases were as solid as they said, the plaintiffs wouldnít have settled for $3.85 million, because they were suing for more than $125 million.

Prediction No. 2: The American and global economy will recover slowly, but continue in the right direction. By the end of 2011, the countryís unemployment rate will be less than 9 percent and we will start to get a handle on our $14 trillion debt.

What happened: There are conflicting reports about the economy and its growth. Also, it is difficult to really evaluate the unemployment numbers. While the rate has dipped below the 9 percent figure, to 8.6 percent as of last month, those numbers appear to be questioned constantly because of who is actually counted. The nation has yet to legitimately address its now more than $15 trillion debt.

Prediction No. 3: Brewers will contend, but not make the playoffs.

What happened: I was wrong. They not only contended for the playoffs, they won the division, won the divisional series before falling to eventual World Series champion St. Louis Cardinals.

So, now that my up and down 2011 results have been revealed, Iíll give you what you all have been looking for. My 2012 predictions.

Prediction No. 1: Parking in Lake Geneva. The $810,000 computerized parking meter kiosks will be installed in spring and the $1 per hour rate will go into effect. Few, if any, of our visitors will notice the rate increase and they will all be thankful they no longer have to carry a ziplock bag full of quarters just to shop downtown for a few minutes. People will continue to flock to local shops and the cityís budget will see some relief from the increased revenues.

Prediction No. 2: With a presidential election looming, historically there havenít been many one-termers in the White House. I will predict Barack Obama will be a one-termer. I donít know and donít care who will be running against him, I predict he will lose mainly because of the economic situation. When things are good, presidents get their second terms ó things are not good. That spells doom for Obama, like him or not.

Prediction No. 3: I always do one sports prediction, so here it is. While some are disappointed with the Green Bay Packerís loss to the Chiefs a few weeks back, I was not. Now, I believe they will repeat as Super Bowl champions. There was no way any team is going to go 19-0 and win a total of 25 straight games in a row. They needed to lose. Sometimes a loss gets a team motivated again, and I think weíll see that with this veteran squad.

Seiser is the editor of the Lake Geneva Regional News.