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Each Monday, Tommy Tomlinson delivers thoughtful commentary on an important topic in the news. Through these perspectives, he seeks to find common ground that leads to deeper understanding of complex issues and that helps people relate to what others are feeling, even if they don’t agree.

Some 'Safe Bets' for 2019

Tommy Tomlinson

A lot of people take the end of the year to make wild predictions about what will happen in the next one. If you hit on one out of 10, you look like a genius, because nobody remembers the nine you got wrong.

Still, I’m not much of a gambler. I liked to make predictions that I’m pretty sure will come true. So in that spirit, here are my Safe Bets for 2019.

I-77 will be under construction most of the year – and even when it’s done, it won’t help traffic much. That’s a Safe Bet.

Every 15 minutes, somewhere in the Charlotte city limits, someone will open up a new storage unit business. I’m not sure exactly what we have left to store. But that’s a Safe Bet.

Wells Fargo will pay a multi-million-dollar fine for ripping off its customers, followed by an apology, followed by another multi-million-dollar fine.

The Carolina Panthers will finish with a winning record in 2019. You might know that the Panthers have never finished with a winning record two years in a row. Thank goodness they went on that losing streak to give us something to look forward to.

When the 2019 Mecklenburg County property revaluations come out, homeowners will complain bitterly about their property taxes going up, but won’t complain about the value of their homes going up. That is a Very Safe Bet.

There will be three or four grocery stores to choose from in every neighborhood … except for the neighborhoods that would really benefit from having even one.

There will be great music, theater and art somewhere in town virtually every night of the year. In response, people will complain about our lack of an arts scene, and stay home and watch Netflix.

We will continue to fret about why we were not chosen as the headquarters of Google, Apple, Amazon, the United Nations, and the Federation of Planets.

People who just moved here from Buffalo or Detroit will call uptown “downtown” 470 times a day.

And finally, we will get better. Not as fast as we would like, but in small ways that matter, and maybe big ones, too. That is the history of Charlotte. Never satisfied, always pushing ahead. Charlotte strives. Change, in this town, is the safest bet of all.

Tommy Tomlinson’s On My Mind column airs every Monday on WFAE and WFAE.org. It represents his opinion, not the opinion of WFAE. You can respond to his column in the comments section below. You can also email Tommy at ttomlinson@wfae.org.