Letter to the editor: Come to the Table survey questions and results are decidedly one-sided
I’ve read Linda Harmon’s thought-provoking March 10 opinion piece and subsequent provoked letter responses. I’ve also read the Come to the Table 32-question survey that was distributed to 33 town council candidates and two mayoral candidates and the received responses. It’s OK as an internal document for private group discussion but not as a public document ostensibly offered for voter education.
Here’s why I’m disappointed and disapproving: From council candidates, the response rate to all questions was 37%, or inversely, 63% did not respond or made a quickly aborted response. This seems to be a high non-response rate considering that candidates usually want voters to understand their positions. This suggests that non-responders were distrustful of survey motivations.
Indeed, a number of questions are nonsensical. Here are three verbatim examples:
“Do you feel the U.S. Constitution is relevant in today’s society?” (Gotcha question.)
“True or false: Summit School District test scores have improved over the last two years. (The answer is false).” (Leading question.)
“Breckenridge’s new short-term rental license cap will help provide more employee housing.” (Not a question.)
Lastly, the responses reveal that the candidates are of two basic camps: conservative and liberal. The 12 completed conservative responses were all quite similar. In only a few instances were they ambivalent or counter to overall group response. As for liberal responses, there weren’t any. Liberals, I believe, were the non-responders. My interpretation is that they made individual decisions to not participate over concerns of confusing phrasing and fairness of questions.
Bottom line, regardless of intentions of Come to the Table, the survey questions and results are decidedly one-sided. The survey has, however, reinforced my decisions on how I’ll be voting in the April municipal election.
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