Hernando Sun’s predictions for 2023 were better than many previous years with four out of six correct. One of the predictions we got wrong, is one we get wrong every year. That is our store wishlist prediction on stores we would like to see come to Hernando County. We also incorrectly predicted where our out-of-county correspondent would be located. Our eldest daughter, who also writes for the paper, went to college this year and we guessed incorrectly which one she would be attending.
Prediction 1- In 2023, we will not have mask mandates or lockdowns in Hernando. The public’s “-demic” fatigue will result in no major local countermeasures to illnesses this year.
The Covid-19 pandemic has faded into the background. The measures that were put in place to slow the spread have largely been rescinded. The illness is still around, but it’s no longer surrounded by the same amount of fear as people have mostly been exposed to the virus and/or vaccinated, so they have antibodies to fight COVID-19.
Prediction 2- The housing market numbers will remain steady or have a slight decline. The economy is struggling, and in this uncertain time, we do not expect major development to be undertaken.
The housing market in Hernando has slowed down. The fiscal year ending in 2021 had 1590 single-family home permits. The fiscal year ending in 2022 had a hundred fewer single-family homes at 1490. In the fiscal year ending in 2023, we had more than 400 less at 1049. This is still higher than in fiscal year 2020, where there were 938 single-family home permits. The housing market seems to have cooled a bit, but it is still relatively strong.
Prediction 3- Once again, we predict Hernando will get a club store or high-end grocery store.
The prediction that Costco, Whole Foods, Fresh Market, or Trader Joe’s will announce that they are opening a store in Hernando County was not correct. This prediction is mainly in hopes that someone who has influence within one of those companies will see it and decide to open a store in Hernando. We have made this prediction for a number of years without success, but as we grow, the chances improve of one of these stores moving to the area.
Prediction 4- We predict that this year will have less rainfall than last year.
We predicted that there would be less rainfall in 2023 and that is definitely the trend. As you can see, Hernando rainfall has been experiencing a downward trend the last few years. Hernando rainfall totals for the last four years: 2020 – 47.60”, 2021 – 55.88”, 2022 – 53.85”, and 2023 – 46.71 (with average December rainfall). The mean rainfall for the county is 55”, so we are definitely below average.
Prediction 5- We predict that the Hernando Sun will gain a Tampa or Tallahassee correspondent next year.
In an attempt to pad our stats, we made a prediction about where our eldest daughter was going to college. We saw an opportunity to have her cover events that would be interesting to Hernando County from her new location. We thought that she would go to one of the two schools that she was thinking about attending at the time: the University of South Florida and Florida State University. However, she wound up attending the University of Florida, which was not helpful from a prediction statistics standpoint. We do have a Gainesville correspondent now and are able to report on interesting events happening there.
Prediction 6- We predict that with the newly elected officials, there will be at least one change of appointed leadership.
We predicted that this year, one of the major appointed leadership positions of superintendent, city manager, or county manager would see a change. The city manager of Brooksville, Ron Snowberger, retired in June and a new city manager, Charlene Kuhn, was selected in September. This prediction caused me to think of Len Sossamon, the former county manager. I made the inverse of this prediction in 2019- that none of the three would see a change. Len was let go in January of that year, so I already had one prediction wrong in January. Len even commented at the time on how his removal ruined our predictions so early in the year.
2023 was a great year for the Hernando Sun predictions. We managed to have the major ones all correct. As we noted in the predictions, if you used these predictions for betting purposes, we would appreciate a cut of the winning.
What are your predictions for 2024? If you have a fun prediction with a local angle, email it to [email protected] and we’ll include your prediction in our 2024 predictions next week.