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Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Lynchburg Council Candidate Jason Campbell's Survey Results

Jason Campbell recently did a survey of what the residents in the Lynchburg area want. While this survey is by no means scientific, it does provide some interesting insights.

There is a clear message the residents of Lynchburg are saying "Reduce my Taxes." This should not be a strange message to City Council they had done their own survey, and did not heed this message in the past. You can find the full City Survey here. And you can find a condensed form here. The City promptly disregarded the study in its current planning and taxation. It was just another consultation the city paid for at your expense.

Jason Campbell has not lost sight of the residents of Lynchburg want. And he is making sure he staying in touch with the pulse of Lynchburg City residents.

Can we say the same for the current Lynchburg City Council?

Here are the results of the Jason Campbell survey from his website:

1. Do you live in Lynchburg City? (504)/Yes (368)/No

2. Do you feel you pay more than your share in TAXES to Lynchburg? (456)/Yes (225)/No

3. Do we really have a traffic concern on Wards Road? (540)/Yes (229)/No

4. If you could eliminate the TRASH TAX or MEALS TAX what would you do? (298)/Trash Tax (378)/Meals Tax

5. Do you believe that Mayor Hutchinson should resign? (498)/Yes (135)/No

6. Would you support the election of school board members rather than having them appointed? (453)/Yes(268)/No

7. Do you support uniforms in Lynchburg public schools? (272)/Yes (319)/No

8. Do you support downtown revitalization? (401)/Yes(339)/No

9. Do you believe tax dollars should fund private development downtown? (113)/Yes(528)/No

10. Would you agree with a four year term limit for Lynchburg City Council? (397)/Yes (289)/No

11. Do you support the City spending $8,500.00 per year in the maintenance of the Langley Fountain? (161)/Yes(541)/No

12. Do you support a Car Decal Tax that you pay but never get a car decal? (97)/Yes(412)/No

13.Who are your THREE candidates you are going to vote May 2nd for City Council?

(# of votes)

(397) Jason Campbell
(394) Scott Garrett
(387) Chuck Gammon
(354) Edie Light
(262) Joan Foster
(258) Bert Dodson
(232) Joe Freeman
(198) Robert Bailey
(155) Rob Jarvis
(142) Nat Marshall
(112) James Coleman
(005) Anthony Howard

Note: A reader of this post has brought it to my attention that question: 11. Do you support the City spending $8,500.00 per year in the maintenance of the Langley Fountain? (161)/Yes(541)/No He pointed out in the original survey question the $8,500.00 was in error. To read more on the reason why go to the comments of this post.


At 9:44 PM, Blogger Larry Bassett said...

Jason Campbell winning his own poll is kind of like James Coleman winning the endorsement of his own organization.

But I do have to question Mr. Campbell's polling/voting integrity. (I know that is a serious allegation and I will try to be as factual as I can be in what I say.)

I voted early in Mr. Campbell's poll. I did not vote for candidates as I recall because I had no idea who I was going to vote for (still have not firmly decided and am not intending to make any public endorsements) and also due to a bit of paranoia since I had no idea how my "votes" might be directly tied to me and misused.

One of the questions was about if I agreed with paying $85,000 a year to maintain the Rainbow Fountain downtown on the James River. Well, of course, I thought not many would want to pay that much for a fountain. But it did not seem likely that it cost that much and I had heard a much lower figure ($8000). So my answer to $85K would be No but yes to $8K. So I skipped that question since it seemed like there was something amiss. To their credit, Lynchburgers (Of course almost half said they were not from Lynchburg -- figure that out -- will they be voting May 2nd?) were overwhelmingly opposing paying $85K to maintain a fountain.

Some time later (if I was an investigative journalist I could provide the date, but I am not) Mr. Campbell agreed that $85,000 was not correct and changed the question to $8,500. (He got a lot of credit for being a candidate who would admit it if he made a mistake.) But many had already voted and, of course, if they thought the $85K was correct information, they mostly thought it was outrageous and voted NO. So the question was changed but the tally evidently remained the same. (You will note that there are approximately 700 total votes on the fountain question, about the same as the other questions. It would be a significantly lower number if the counter was reset to zero when the question was revised.) The result of the poll remains with the misstatement that a vast majority think $8,500 is too much. I submit that this is close to if not reaching a lack of integrity. Either that or a lack of brains. (But you might check to be sure there is actually a name next to your X when you vote! Especially if you are from out of town.)

Recently a city council member was quoted that we needed to elect new members who could use a calculator. I suggest that we elect council members who can use their brain and conscience.

Doesn't anybody notice this kind of step over the line in presenting public opinion? Isn't anyone embarrassed?

A journalist would never kill a good story by going beyond the punch line, but I want to add that even on this manipulated poll Downtown revitalization was supported by over 54% of those responding, assuming no one voted more than once or once per email address or ...... Of course, all the candidates support downtown revitalization; we know that because we read it in the News & Advance and they have a reputation for being right. I mean left. (Opps, I mean correct.)

At 10:41 PM, Blogger B O B said...

Thanks Larry for your comment. I realize that you have pointed out the 85,000 before, in the Lynchburg forum. And you are correct the figure should be 8,500.

And before I ever posted the poll results I did notice that the figure was not changed in the tally results. The significant point is should the city taxpayers being for this at all?

I pointed out when I published this poll that it was not scientific, and by that I meant that it was a poll that was presented on a site that perhaps liberal leaning people most likely wouldn't even visit.

Yes there was an error in one of the 13 questions, but I still think the survey offers some interesting insights.

Your point is well taken though, that one question was flawed and some may have voted different if the correct figure was maintained throughout.

But, this does not change my opinion of Jason Campbell. I think the direction he wants to take the city is what is needed, and 180 degrees different than the ideas that are currently manifested by the city council.

He is only one of two candidates that has made a stand on tax and spend issues. And this lapse with an extra 0, does not negate that.

What is really a lack of integrity, can be found by one of the current members of City Council, Mayor Hutcherson. He should have stepped down. At the end of this month we will find out, if a jury decides on the evidence if he is guilty of criminal acts. And if so, it would even show a greater breach of public trust.

I am not happy that the city budget has grown 250 percent greater than 2001. Nor am I happy that Roanoke has a smaller budget than ours and serves more people. And if you have been to Roanoke you will find that there city services are much better than ours.

There is something rotten in Lynchburg and it is time to throw it out.

At 7:26 PM, Blogger Larry Bassett said...

Bob says "I am not happy that the city budget has grown 250 percent greater than 2001. Nor am I happy that Roanoke has a smaller budget than ours and serves more people. And if you have been to Roanoke you will find that there city services are much better than ours."

Reroll the tape. So you are still repeating that information? On April 19th, the small world of the Lynchburg budget debate changed for some people. The incensed "loyal opposition" responded with outrage that the incumbants had also failed to correct the erroneous budget comparison information. Of course, the reality is that not one of the candidates corrected the bad information. That is, to put it bluntly, pathetic. But to repeat it now as fact is certainly amazing to me. I hope there is education of some sort going on somewhere.

And to give a candidate extra points for being wrong and for doctoring data? This is not about how scientific the poll was or was not. This is about changing the question after people had already given their answer. Surely this is wrong? I suggest Mr. Campbell earn additional points and admit he was wrong -- again.

I did not cross Mr. Campbell off my personal list of candidates to consider until I found out for myself that his information was wrong and he was attacking others with misinformation. I love the fact that Mr. Campbell brought his campaign to the internet. I encouraged him (genuinely) in that effort. I similarly encourage him to check his facts and his tactics. Seemingly small actions do carry big implications when it comes to judging character. At least for me.

At 7:53 PM, Blogger B O B said...

Hi Larry in the latest News article by the News and Advance Chuck Gammon did concede that the Roanoke budget is larger than Lynchburgs. And from the article it appears that Jason Campbell did not make the same admission. One of my latest posts addresses this.

I have been reading the City budget line by line over the last several days. It is a pretty mind boggling task. And I can see how easy it would be to make factual errors.

In fact I have found some things in the document itself that have appear to be errors.

I honestly believe that Jason Campbell did not doctor figures. And he appears to attack issues and not people. But what you are pointing out is a valid point, Jason Campbell did not concede the point of his error.


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