Even the best laid plans have to fold to Mother Nature and Old Man Winter. Georgia Governor-Elect Nathan Deal may have moved into the big red brick Governor’s Mansion over the weekend, but the big non-essential planned inaugural events have been canceled. Deal, however, will be sworn into office at the Georgia capitol at 2:30. No seating or tickets will be provided to the public. The public is urged to stay in the safety of their homes and watch the event on Georgia Public Television.
Major Winter Event CancelsGeorgia Governor’s Plans
There was to have been a 9:00 am prayer service at Mount Paran Church in Atlanta but this morning event has been canceled. One of the most volatile winter storms in years is barreling up from the Gulf of Mexico and is expected to disable most of the state of Georgia, and in particular, metro Atlanta and the counties north of Atlanta. Ice storms are expected to turn middle and some southern Georgia counties into a literal and hazardous sheet of ice.
The swearing in will still take place at Georgia Capitol. Most significant to the entire day of events was a cancellation of the Gala that was to be held at Phillips Arena on the evening of January 10, 2011. There had been some controversy over this event as it was an optional black tie by invitation only party. Although all indicators suggested that the event was not going to cost Georgia taxpayers any money and was being supported by private donations, the whispering continued.
Georgians are struggling with ever increasing unemployment numbers and devastating economic conditions. Some saw this fancy party underwritten by supporters and aimed at celebrating those who helped in the long and hard election as patronizing rich Georgians. When news leaked about so called Georgia themed ‘goodie bags,’ the disdain continued by critics.
What Lies Ahead for Nathan Deal
The 82nd Governor has a long road ahead of him in his first four – year term as Georgia’s elected CEO. Jobs and business are top priorities for all citizens and a time of more and more cutbacks across the board. In a time where educators and other workers across the state have no job stability, some saw the patrons of the gala as being offered too much attention by the Governor and to their agendas.
As the Gulf blows a snowy blast across the Peach State, it does appear there will be no main stage theatrics for the Georgia Republican Party at this event, and none of the famous goody bags. Of course, the goody bags could still be shipped to thank special supporters. Rooms at both the Atlanta Hilton and the Downtown Atlanta Days Inn were being offered for around $100.00 per night. The cancellation of the event will hurt the downtown economy some, if refunds are indeed allowed.
As for newly elected Governor Nathan Deal, it appears he will be sitting by the home fires with the rest of Georgia on his inauguration night. He has plenty of options. He and Mrs. Deal can continue unpacking or he could brainstorm how to save the state of Georgia and its residents from financial catastrophe and educational downfall.
Sources: Online Athens, The Atlanta Journal Constitution, Nathan Deal Inauguration Website