City survey still going on

By Jessica Weston, News Review Correspondent

If you haven’t weighed in on Ridgecrest’s Strategy Survey for 2014, there’s still time. The 25-question survey by Vice Mayor Chip Holloway and Social Media Consultant Justin O’Neill is available at www.ridgecrest-ca.gov/government/strategy-survey-2014 and at www.surveymonkey.com/s/RidgecrestStrategySurvey2014.

The survey is also on the Ridgecrest Survey 2014 Facebook group, and hard copies are available at the City Hall information desk, Ridgecrest Chamber of Commerce and Red Rock Books.

According to Holloway, the survey should be available for at least a couple of weeks. He said that 556 people had responded to the survey online as of Monday.

The survey was the topic of heated discussion at last Wednesday’s city council meeting. During public comment Dave Matthews described the survey as “flawed” because there was no option to not vote on certain questions.

“I get sensitive to the word ‘flawed’ that gets thrown around,” Holloway responded during council comment.

The technology of the online survey imposes certain limitations, he said. “We wanted to have a place for ‘other,’ but the technology doesn’t allow that.”

Holloway said that the survey is intended to draw feedback from the largest possible group of people, not just registered voters (another complaint).

“We are trying to draw in the big tent concept here. We are trying to get opinions from anybody we can, in any way we can,” he said.

O’Neill explained the survey’s intent in a later interview. “This is a straw-poll survey just to test the assumptions we have about the popularity of programs and services offered by the city.”

The survey is designed to take just a few minutes to complete, he said. “It’s just a way that people can keep in touch with the city and give input in a quick, low-resource, unobtrusive kind of way.”

Story First Published: 2014-04-09