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What role should polls play in local government?

Original post made by Tyler Hanley, digital editor of Palo Alto Online, on Mar 6, 2007

A survey commissioned by the Palo Alto City Council showed that a majority, but fewer than two-thirds, of those surveyed would support bond measures for library improvements and a new police headquarters.
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How should polls in general, and this one in particular, guide the actions of the City Council? Is polling of residents helpful or not?
Should a bond election be delayed until next November because of the results of this poll?

Comments (1)

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Posted by Kate
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Mar 6, 2007 at 10:11 am

It would be interesting to know the criteria for eelecting who was called on this survey. It would also be interesting to know who was called in the survey on what is good or wrong with Palo Alto since that majority said everthing was relatively rosy except for the miserable streets. Maybe residens see an out of control council, out of control spending, etc......But are 600 people truly representative? As long as there is this Mitchel-Main controversy and the North-South debate, there will be polarization. Mitchell needs to be rebuilt. That communty Center needs expansion. Main needs renovation - it does NOT need to be a teen center.

Is the public safety buiding a grandiose proposal - or could it be scaled down? $40-50M
seems like a lot and people are riightfully sceptical. And we are putting out $1M for plans before it even goes to a vote. Something wrong here.

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