PTC survey to hit mailboxes this week

1,200 households to be asked about city spending, property taxes

Invitations to a survey on city services and property tax spending priorities will go in the mail early this week to some 1,200 randomly selected households in Peachtree City.

The city’s Needs Assessment Committee crafted detail into the survey so residents could have a dollar figure for how much it costs the average home in city taxes for police, fire, recreation and public works services.

The committee is hoping for at least 400 surveys to be filled out to get a statistically valid sampling with an error of plus/minus 5 percent. If even more residents fill out the survey, the results will be even more reliable, committee members have said.

Reliability is crucial for the group as they are hoping to present the survey results to council at a budget workshop in March so the data can be used to help shape the upcoming budget talks for the 2013-2014 fiscal year.

The final changes to the online-only survey were made Thursday and approved unanimously. The changes were in response to feedback from more than 20 people who took the survey online as a focus group.

The survey invitation will be mailed in an envelope with red lettering on the outside in an attempt to catch the attention of city residents and encourage them to open it.

Because the survey will be administered online, it will be relatively easy to tabulate the results.

Although Mayor Don Haddix formally created the committee, it has been noted that all of the committee members were volunteers except for one: John Dufresne, who has openly challenged many of Haddix’s ideas and queries.

Haddix has let the committee make all its own decisions, occasionally making suggestions such as one Thursday to include recreation sports participation data in some of the background material online for those taking the survey who want to dig deeper into the numbers.

Dufresne noted that such data is superflous to what the committee’s goal is: finding out how much citizens are willing to pay in property taxes for various services including recreation.