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Monday, September 20, 2010

City's Budget Scorecard Results Appear Useless

Sunday, the Janesville Gazette posted their "news" report on the results from the city of Janesville's "You Cut" city services survey the city instituted online a few months ago.

Certainly there can be a multitude of ways to interpret the results, but several elements of the article, for whatever reason, did not match up with the budget scorecard table posted along with the story. Nevermind that the survey's awkwardly composed questions and mixed parameters were vague enough to keep even the most educated participants guessing.

Also, the direction of the opening remarks and first impressions from the assistant city manager about the survey indicate the city (or the newspaper) appears to be erroneously scoring the library high for cuts. In my view, the survey table showed that the library received a fairly neutral public response for budget changes compared to other facilities and services while recreational facilities and programming combined to score the highest percentile for a reduction in taxes and services, received less attention in the "report."

Whatever one can conclude from the article and the confusing survey results, two questions deserve to be asked: Are city officials and the newspaper driving the results in some predetermined direction? And, can the results from such a confusingly posed if not dysfunctional survey be trusted at all?

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Of course we know that the city and the Gazette want the ice arena and are willing to slant the news to imply that this tax guzzling plan is supported by the public. We see it for what it is - a special interest project to line the pockets of a few wealthy private interests! Keep our library (and other services) out of the hands of those who want to limit our access to free ideas! Books are more valuable than ice skates!

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