Following an election that unseated/replaced three long-term incumbents and a ballot measure that garnered an overwhelming majority to rollback the newly adopted tax-rate, the majority of the city council sought to clarify attitudes and opinions of citizens to help guide a long-term vision for the city by conducting a self-selecting constituent survey. The survey would also serve as a guide before taking steps to plan and/or revise plans of the city.
Councilman Robert Steinhagen proposed a citizen survey and presented initial drafts of questions at the October 11, 2016 regular meeting of the city council. The council was invited and encouraged to provide feedback to those proposed and/or offer new questions. A Special Workshop was held on November 8, election night, where both citizens and the full council participated in formulating, revising, & finalizing the survey questions, the survey structure, and the rules that would govern the process of conducting the survey, in-house. By a unanimous vote, the survey was approved and authorization was given to move forward.
The City Secretary was to be the administrator of the survey engine with the only one permitted to have access. Only the City Secretary and the city’s part-time administrative assistant were to be allowed/permitted to prepare the postcard invitations that had a “Unique Respondent Identification Number” [URID#], a string of randomly generated alphanumeric characters assigned to each prospective respondent, which was a respondent’s exclusive key of entry into the online survey. The City Secretary acquired two lists; the first was of all eligible voters that were registered in the city of McLendon-Chisholm [M-C] from the Rockwall County Elections Office and the second was all property owners on file from the Rockwall County Appraisal District Office as of November 1, 2016. To eliminate duplicates Constituents, whose names were included on both, were then removed from the property owner’s list before the two files of data were combined, which resulted in the final dataset of 1,752 [See Overall Statistics, pg.19]. Before fields that included the prospective respondent’s identity, name, address, etc., were removed from the data that was uploaded into the online survey engine, 1 fields to identify each prospective respondent as either a registered voter or a non-registered property owner and, using Rockwall CAD data, the subdivision in which the constituent resides were added to help aid in the data analysis [See CHART 1: Response Statistics by Subdivision & CHART 2: Subdivision Response Rate].
1 Personal information was not imported into the survey engine so that respondent anonymity could be assured, should an open record’s request be submitted for the raw data following the completion of the survey.