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Croton Community Center Survey Yields Meager Response

December 21, 2006

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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.

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On January 3, 2007 6:15 AM, sacklabs said:

Our own school system has used a better format for conducting surveys: CET recently conducted an email based survey. They did the survey through “Survey Monkey” which is an extremly inexpensive and simple method of executing surveys. I would suggest that the village seek permission of the school district to utilize their email list, and do their own email based survey. Not only would they likely get a better number of responses, they would be surveying families with children, the potential audience for the proposed community center and not just random, households.

On December 31, 2006 8:04 PM, KWilly said:

The only reason the Skatepark failed was because of how bad it was managed. The kids should have been smart and not accepted the park under those circumstances. Instead of building a community center we should work with what we already have.

  • Kevin W. Davis -

On December 31, 2006 7:19 PM, dors said:

Lest we all forget the SK8 Park fiasco. A handful of vocal locals came to the board meetings and implored the board for a SK8 park. Their wish was granted and the park is now for sale on eBay. The squeaky wheels usually get the most grease but we should be cautious and fiscally conservative. 500 out of 7000+ is certainly not a majority.

On December 25, 2006 6:55 PM, bojangles said:

Even more important is the fact that the Town of Cortlandt will be building a Town Community Center at the parking lot next to the Montrose train station.

No mention has been made of where a Croton town center would go or how much it would cost or how it would be paid for.

Please give the taxpayers a break or at least make available the 500 completed surveys for the public to review.

My confidence in the board is quickly being diminished and it becomes harder to have faith in their assessment of needs for the taxpapyers.



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