At Monday night’s Village Board meeting, December 18, 2006, Trustee Thomas Brennan reported “we got over 500 responses on the community survey,” and “from what I understand that’s a pretty good response, so we need to get together and decide how we are going to ah, get all that information all together and hopefully in early winter we’ll get back to you on ah, what those results were.”
First, some background: On November 5, 2006, Crotonblog expressed doubt about the recently mailed survey, which was highly touted by Mayor Dr. Gregory Schmidt, in a news analysis titled “A Pie-in-the-Sky Prospectus for a Glitzy Croton Community Center.” We pointed out that Croton’s population was estimated at 7,862 in 2004, the latest year for which an estimate was available. The 3,000 names on the Village’s mailing list to whom the survey was sent comprised taxpayers and owners of businesses, some of whom did not live in Croton. This meant that while about 3,000 questionnaires were mailed—a number constituting some 38 percent of Croton’s total estimated population—the remaining 62 percent of Croton’s population (excluding infants) may or may not have seen the questionnaire, yet they would be prospective users of a community center.
According to survey industry experts, the response rate for warranty cards on consumer products is about 50%. The number of survey returns Mr. Brennan is reporting—about 500—which he claims is “a pretty good response,” is anything but a good response. It is, in fact, abysmal, representing a meager 16.7 percent of the number of surveys mailed. Statistically speaking, the responses received actually represent only 6.4% of Croton’s population.
Crotonblog is compelled to ask the mayor, “What’s Up Doc? Is the village going to spend millions of dollars on a community center based on such a shallow survey?” Crotonblog earnestly hopes not.
Download this video clip of “Croton Community Center Survey Yields Meager Response” to your video iPod (how to guide).