Reminiscent of the late Richard Dawson’s “Family Feud,” game show, the representatives of the Lew Edwards Group made their presentation of the “City of Wildomar Park Issues Survey,” which was conducted from July 17, 2012 through July 22, 2012. In a telephone poll, 300 Wildomar residents were surveyed for their responses to the following primary question:
“If the election were held today, would you vote yes in favor of it or no to oppose this measure?”
The “measure” in question is a $28 per year parcel tax for Wildomar’s parks.
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According to the survey, the following responses:
1) Definitely yes-56%.
2) Probably yes-17%.
3) Undecided, leaning yes-4%.
According to the polling consultants, the 56% and the 17% and the 4% undecided, leaning yes, amounts to a total yes vote of 77%.
4) Definitely no-18%.
5) Probably no-4%.
6) Undecided, leaning no-1%.
According to the polling consultants, the above amounts to a total of 23% no vote.
After the meeting was over, I spoke to Dave Mason, one of the polling consultants, and reminded him that the 56% “definitely yes” was the same final tally in last year’s failed Measure D ballot measure, as well as the prior successful park assessment vote in 2006.
I asked him what percentage of the probable and undecided, but leaning yes votes are likely to become actual yes votes on election day. He stated that, in his opinion, 75% of that 21% would end up voting yes on a ballot measure for parks.
Doing the math, 75% of 21% equals 15.7%, which added to 56% for the “definitely yes,” equals a total of 71.7%.
By their own admission contained within the “Methodology” section of the report, the margin of error is somewhere between ± 5.7% up to ± 6.2%. Using a median number of 6%, despite their glowing optimism, this survey, if accurate, could still only predict a yes vote tally of 65.7%, which is a full 1% less than the 66.7% yes vote required for passage of the measure.
Despite the results of the survey, this is not a slamdunk for passage, by any realistic measurement.
In any event, the die is cast, as the City Council voted 5-0 to move forward with a parcel tax of $28 per year to be on the November 2012 ballot.
Since I gave them my word that I would not oppose a $28 per year parcel tax, I will not work against the parcel tax (although I have offered multiple suggestions for the reallocation of limited funds, without having to waste more money on a tax measure).
The political climate for a tax measure on this particular ballot may not have the positive outcome that Councilmember Bridgette Moore gleefully expressed with her “Yes!Yes!!”, when given a chance to respond to the presentation.
Without a doubt, this survey, and a park tax measure enhances her tear-stained “I’m trying,” campaign platform, which is the reason for this new measure being on the November 2012 ballot in the first place.
She may find herself re-elected to the Wildomar City Council, only to bear the political consequences of being a two-time loser, when it comes to parks. If that turns out to be the case, she and her colleagues may find themselves in the position of having to eventually embrace my thoughtful recommendation that City Hall be moved from its current location to Marna O’Brien Park as a reasonable means to reallocate limited funding and keep the park open.
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Instead of “doing better with less,” Wildomar may find itself in the awkward position of having to “do less with Moore.”