Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Rating Local Government ? A Survey of the Roosevelt Island Operating Corp ?

Apparently the NYC Public Advocate’s office in conjunction with the Mayor’s office will, in the coming weeks, be sending out paper surveys to 100,000 New Yorkers on a variety of topics regarding the level and quality of city services. It should be interesting to see what results. Comments I have read on the web include whether the survey should have been set up electronically enabling the entire City to participate as opposed to a paper system which will be more costly to administer and tabulate.

I wonder if a survey of RIOC and the services provided on our little island would enable us to learn what our populace finds important and how they feel RIOC is performing.

I am not advocating such a survey should immediately be set up as I am very often disappointed when turnouts are low as they can very often lead to more finger pointing as to whether the survey and votes are truly valid to begin with if and when the percentages of respondents is so low.

In the last six months we saw Islanders participate in the ballot process “electing” our RIOC Board Nominees in what was seen as a record turnout where 1718 ballots were submitted. This election coincided with the general February 5th primary drawing voters into PS217 and other voting locations. We also saw a paper survey regarding the FDR Memorial which included a centrally located ballot box at the PSD office where 207 island residents participated. This was seen as a low turnout.

If the RIOC Board Nominees are actualy seated on the Board a future "survey" of RIOC will include if they are elected again and appointed again.

Would a survey of RIOC and the services they provide yield any new and usable information without it becoming a venue for extremists with axes to grind to make unnecessary noise? Perhaps. What do think? Could it be useful and what questions should be asked? I am guessing RIRA has run similar surveys in the past and I plan to look into their results if they are still available to gauge what level of turnout could be expected if another survey would be run today.

In the end I would expect it always a good thing to see what people think so if anything improvements can be made and perhaps new services provided where they are needed.

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