Tattler: So the survey cards will be non-partisan and neutral on those 3 questions. But this NRC confab determines who will get the postcards, right? If my understanding is correct, companies like that do demographic profiling. They determine who will get the survey cards, and this is based on curated data. That is why those cards won't be going out to everyone. Some are being left out to help determine the result.
Gabe Engeland: No, they don't curate data. NRC loads the zip code data set and the addresses are assigned at random. This is the only way to ensure statistically significant data. There isn't a conspiracy theory here. The survey is going to 5,000 addresses, which is likely every residential, non-P.O. Box in town. You couldn't curate that data, even if you wanted to. It is too large a percentage of the total.
Gabe Engeland: This looks like a screen grab from the staff report that went to Council last month.
Tattler: Yes. It identifies the amount of household receiving the card as 1,500, not the 5,000 you stated this morning.
Gabe Engeland: That was the staff recommendation as this is the number needed to get statistical significance. After the council discussion the direction was to increase the number receiving the survey. The final decision is to send the survey to 5,000 households.
Tattler: Where was that stated? I've been following this pretty closely and I don't recall that.
Gabe Engeland: At the end of the discussion council talked in general about the desire to increase the number of households and a discussion on what that increase may cost. I took the conversation as direction and increased the amount from 1,500 to 5,000 recipients.
Tattler: How was it budgeted? Who approved that additional spend? As I recall the City Council rolled with the 1,500, and even talked about it not going out to everyone. I can isolate some video if you like. This isn't making much sense, Gabe. Don't go getting Elaine on us.
Gabe Engeland: I approved the budget for this item, the amount is well within my authority. The decision to have the survey or ballot measure was up to Council. How to implement the survey, once that is the option they selected, is up to me. I authorized the increase from 1500 to 5000 and I approved the increase in budget. I think we may be having a disconnect. The increase in the total number of people being surveyed is generally viewed as a good thing.
Tattler: Yes. I would agree. Can you send me some documents showing this is happening. Trust but verify as someone who was way into deficit spending once said.
Gabe Engeland: Haha. Yes, a healthy mistrust of government is good. I will get a copy of the contract to you.
Gabe Engeland: This is where we are currently at, but we are still working to finalize all of the details. Exhibit A lists the number of households which will be surveyed as well as costs. It also describes how NRC receives the addresses (purchased directly from USPS) and how they are allowed to weigh the statistical analysis (as closely to the most recent Census data as possible for all adults).
Mod: What follows is a portion of the as yet incomplete and unsigned contract from the NRC. The original is 7 action packed pages long. I'm only posting the last portion of that (Exhibit A), but if you want the whole thing drop me an email and I will gladly send you all of it. The move from 1,500 Library survey postcards to 5,000 is not yet a done deal, at least not yet. It is a work in progress. But it does look like we're getting there. Hopefully I'll be able to post a finished and signed document before too much longer.
Mod: I don't know if you noticed, but besides the mailed postcard residents of Sierra Madre will now be able to complete the survey on-line as well. That also looks to be new. Pretty cool, actually. So even if you don't get a survey postcard in the mail, you'll still be allowed to participate. Weighted data and all. Of course.