Like another letter writer, I am concerned about the current Town of Hilton Head Island “Vision Survey.”
The responders appear to be self-selected with no attempt to produce a scientifically representative sample. How do we prevent one group from dominating, or people from submitting multiple responses? How do we prevent an employer from “encouraging” all of its employees to vote? (If you think I’m being paranoid, let me assure you that I have seen politicians and their advisers around here stuff a board in order to get the answers they want.)
While the town vision project may produce a broad, strategic vision — according to the people they selected to participate, the direction they were steered, and the unscientific survey responses — we should have done better with those funds.
I would like to see a scientifically constructed, mail survey sampling our 40,000 residents stratified by age group, location, etc. (That data is available from voting records.) I would like to see questions asking for their top 10 or so issues and the percentage concern with each (total = 100). There is lots of expertise on the island that could help with this.
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That way we will have scientifically based, quantitative data showing issues of concern by segment, area, etc., to address as part of the town’s planning. I can’t believe that fairly understanding and addressing these issues is not part of a town vision.
Steven M. Baer
Hilton Head Island