PTC budget survey: you may not be invited

For ‘valid’ results, committee to rely on randomized survey instead of open process

A citizen committee studying how much Peachtree City residents are willing to pay for city services is planning to conduct a survey that will stand up as a valid statistical analysis for the City Council to consider.

In doing so, however, there will be no way for all citizens to voice their opinions. Instead, the committee plans to randomly select a certain number of respondents from each neighborhood, which includes subdivisions along with condominium and apartment complexes.

The goal is to get at least 400 responses, which will give a margin of error of plus/minus 5 percent, committee members said last week. Ideally there will be an opportunity to get even more citizens involved in the survey, as 800 responses gets the margin of error down to plus/minus 3 percent, according to committee vice chair Robert Black.

The committee currently is planning to mail invitations to take the survey to the randomly selected addresses, but no timetable has been set as of yet, in part due to questions about the committee’s ability to expend city funds to pay for the mailings.

The plan is for the survey respondents to fill it out online so tabulating results is easier compared to a paper survey which also would add further expense.

Further discussions on the survey are expected Thursday at the committee’s next meeting at council chambers in City Hall from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m.

At the Nov. 29 meeting there was discussion of hosting a separate survey that anyone could take online, but there was some worry that doing so would cause problems helping the committee draw its conclusions.

One of the reasons for using a scientific survey method is so the results can be “more valid” and thus would be more difficult for council members to dismiss, which is a problem that has been identified with previous citywide surveys on budget matters.

“The only reason for doing a self-directed survey is to make people feel good,” said committee member Paul Lentz. “That may be setting expectations we have no intention of fulfilling.”

There was some discussion about whether the survey should target city business owners, and while no final decision was made, much of the talk centered on how differently they may perceive city services compared to a home owner or renter.

The goal is for the survey to be wrapped up by early spring so the results can help council during the budget planning process and the annual City Council retreat.

The committee has posted a number of financial documents related to the budget on the city’s website at www.peachtree-city.org/needs. Also on that page are links to the committee’s minutes and a link that allows residents to send emails to each committee member.

BobbyBiplane
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Thanks ...

My point is still the same as note before ...

the committee is incorrectly using the term "stastically valid" for "we don't give a crap about what the active/interested public thinks" with their study. I will say it again - THIS SURVEY IS PURE BULLCRAP. The committee is using jargon to convince everyone that they are being inclusive.

Do not let these folks pull the wool over your eyes. This survey is not representative of active community interest.

Bob

Husband and Fat...
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Well said

You addressed this perfectly. Mr. Mayor, why would you not want feedback from everyone interested in taking part. 400-800 proposed participants hardly a good representation. Might as well compare the food quality between Walmart and Whole Foods.

Husband and Fat...
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Funny

Kind of funny that they still havent figured out how they will distribute the request for the survey. (stamps $0.45 x 800 = $360.00)

Leadership baby.

BobbyBiplane
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This is Stat 101 ...

Why are we interested in the opinions of the silent ones? I for one don't give a damn about the opinions of those who are too lazy or disinterested to fill out a survey. This committee should not either.

This is an inappropriate use of the arguement "statistically valid."

Bob

Robert W. Morgan
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Management by survey is like a democracy

instead of a representative republic where we vote for knowledgable people to use their best judgment in making leadership-based decisions for the rest of us. Actually it is worse than that where the majority is hopelessly apathetic (like in PTC) and those responding to the survey will only be special interest groups supporting ideas like expensive pool bubbles.

You would think that after electing our best and brightest to city council, we should just let them exercise their deep thinking and wise judgmental skills regardless of what some survey says. Talk about leading from behind - Wow.

dar thompson
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RWM

Could not have said it better myself. Maybe we could run a survey as to weather we "should" or "should not" run survey's.

dar thompson
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RWM

Could not have said it better myself. Maybe we could run a survey as to weather we "should" or "should not" run survey's.

SPQR
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management by survey IS a democracy

and that's only if the survey is a legitimate cross section of the populace. Survey's like the Mayor's gas golf cart job are tyranny and designed to get the desired result.

At any rate this PTC survey thing is stupid and shows a total lack of leadership. I would hope that the level of education here is such that Council is perceived as failing by most.

tgarlock
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SPQR, please note this survey effort . . .

. . . is the mayor's brainchild, done over the objection and without the participation of the rest of the Council. Say what you will, positive or negative, about the survey, but cannot assign credit or blame to Council members.

Terry Garlock

SPQR
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TGAR

My apologies to council. I guess I'm just getting used to them being POTP