But when they do come around, they can be quite a tip off as to where the men behind the curtain want to take us.
And it appears that we are now living in special times because phones have been ringing in town, and the people doing the dialing are equipped with some rather pointed and informed questions. Inquiries dealing with some of the biggest issues we as a community face right now.
The name of the company conducting this phone survey is Mountain West Research Center. Located somewhere in Idaho, MWRC is a concern that is hired to contact people and get their opinions on things. In other words, they are a data collection company, and they do telephone surveys for people who want to know what a community might be thinking on important issues. Here is a passage from the Mountain West website dealing with the tender topic of why it is they might have contacted you.
Each climber has unique experiences and there is value from learning from one another. Survey research is key to shaping everyday society because it allows people like you to share your thoughts on everything from social to political issues. Mountain West Research Center is a data collection company that is contracted to administer surveys on behalf of third party research companies. We do not sell products, solicit donations, or intentionally frustrate potential survey participants.
In other words, just answer the damn questions and get over yourself. Because if you don't how are we going to finish this project and get paid?
Now as angelic and pure as they attempt to make these efforts sound, Mountain West Research Center has not always behaved themselves like a nice data collection company should. Check this out from a site called Research.com:
Mountain West Research Centre fined $20,000 over push polling - Mountain West Research Centre has agreed to pay $20,000 to settle a dispute with new Hampshire attorney general Michael Delaney over push polling activities. The company contacted 529 households in New Hampshire between 19 and 21 July on behalf of Democratic Senate candidate Paul Hodes.
Push polling is legal in the state providing callers declare which political candidate they are campaigning on behalf of. According to the attorney general's office, Mountain West did not provide the disclosures required by law.
I don't know what the laws are here in the State of California in regards to polling like we're now seeing here in Sierra Madre, but according to the people I have spoken with the Mountain West phone jockeys do not identify the party that contracted with their company to make survey calls here. Which is why we'll have to make some guesses based on what it is that is being asked.
The questions Mountain West Research Center is asking Sierra Madreans are the following:
- Is housing and development in Sierra Madre a concern?
- Should the Mayor and City Council increase fees or cut services?
- Should we have affordable housing here?
- Should we make certain houses that are being sold are ecologically sustainable?
- Should we band together with neighboring communities to save money on services?
- Do you think home sales in your neighborhood will increase, decrease, or stay the same?
These are, of course, questions at the very core of what many have come to suspect is a stealth (or not so stealth) agenda of the G4 Council to move towards large scale development here. And if they are the ones who contracted for this survey, then apparently the G4 is interested in gauging how strong the opposition to their efforts within the community might be. As well as what the level of acceptance is for fluffy agenda-laden jargon such as "affordable housing" and "ecologically sustainable."
And like I said, I don't recall these kinds of survey questions being asked here since the glory days of the Downtown Specific Plan.
If you have been surveyed by these people The Tattler wants to hear from you.
SB 77 Is Still One Vote Away From Passage
The bill that will kill 400 some odd Redevelopment Agencies in California is still one slim vote from passage in the California State Assembly. And the best coverage of this story that I have found is coming from the California Eminent Domain Report, which is run by a group of attorneys who fight such evils as Eminent Domain and redevelopment abuse. Here is how they reported yesterday's events:
The Assembly has been in session since 11:00, and as best I can tell ... it has not taken up SB 77 or redevelopment again today. My understanding is that further discussion is planned before the session ends, and that SB 77 was - at least at the beginning - "item #7" on the agenda.
Then there is this:
Now (just after 4:00 p.m. Thursday), the Assembly is waiting for some bills from the Senate, and it still has not taken up SB 77. In fact, it's starting to look like SB 77 may not come back to the Assembly floor today, as the Assembly speaker's office is saying the measure is still one vote short, so a floor vote may be delayed until that last vote is found.
Please get on the phone again today and call Assemblyman Tim Donnelly (916 319-2059). Let him know just how disappointing it is that he has forgotten his campaign promise to protect people from things like redevelopment driven eminent domain abuse. As it still says on Tim Donnelly's campaign website, "We believe that personal property rights must not be infringed."
Yes, we certainly do. Time to keep a campaign promise, Mr. Donnelly. Cast the deciding "yes" vote on SB 77. Help save California.