EDITORIAL: Standard’s Online Poll Results Deserve

February 10, 2011

in News,Opinion

Of the many polls we’ve offered, two in particular have eclipsed all others in terms of response. Those two were the one which dealt with bullying in local schools and the other was by far the most responded to of all, asking people how they felt about moving the Woodstock snow dump to enable recreational and commercial development to take place in the East End.
It should be said from the outset that our poll results are hardly a precise indicator of the opinions of all persons in our ten-town circulation area, but they do suggest how the population might respond. Thus both poll results should be taken seriously into consideration.
With the poll on bullying, we made it clear that this is a national issue, but that local schools are not exempt. We suggested that action was needed now, and reaction was immediate.
Fifty-five percent of all respondents indicated, “Understanding and solving the problem should be a community-wide effort.” Next, 23 percent responded, “It isn’t an unusual situation – it’s just kids being kids.” However, the next 14 percent indicated, “Yes, there is a local problem which should be seriously dealt with.”
Eleven percent indicated “I am the parent of a child who is regularly bullied” and a like number responded “Let school administrators and staff handle any problems—it’s their job.” A final 5 percent said “I need a better understanding of bullying if I am to comment at all.” (People could respond to more than one of the six questions, but were prevented from taking the poll twice, which would have skewed the results.)
We were encouraged to learn recently that at least two community groups may be meeting soon to discuss the issue of bullying in local schools.
When our latest completed poll asked Woodstock voters, “Do you favor the relocation of the snow dump from the “Jungle” portion of the East End enabling recreational and commercial activities there,” response was the greatest of any of our polls to date.
The vote choices were simple – yes, no, or undecided. Again, responses are not a certainty of how Village and Town voters will act at their respective annual meetings in March to approve of moving the snow dump or not, but the overwhelming poll results suggest decision makers should give serious consideration to the results as the community seeks to provide additional recreational facilities and commercial development which would generate welcomed tax revenues.
An overwhelming 83 percent of all respondents favored relocation of the snow dump, 13 percent were not in favor of it and 4 percent were undecided.
So much for the desire by many to relocate the snow dump. Should there be a decision to move forward (by Town and Village voters) many hurdles remain, including needed land purchase, permits and a salable game plan.
Readers are encouraged to participate in the Standard’s future website polls. Choices and responses are important when organizations and officials need to know how citizens feel about certain issues. And, responses are always confidential. People need not identify themselves when “voting.” Just go to www.thevermontstandard.com to express your views.
Phil Camp


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