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Nelson says survey “loaded to produce results that support a multi-purpose center”


This news story was published on April 3, 2011.
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Mason City City Council member Don Nelson released a memo regarding his observations on a survey the city asked the public to complete on a proposed multi-purpose arena for downtown Mason City. He says the survey is “loaded to produce results that support a multi-purpose center.”|Mason City City Council member Don Nelson released a memo regarding his observations on a survey the city asked the public to complete on a proposed multi-purpose arena for downtown Mason City.

1,746 responses to the multi-purpose center survey were received at City Hall from Mason City citizens. Citizens could respond to the survey through a hard copy paper that was available at City Hall and mailed out with city water bills or they could do the survey online. Read related story, here.

There were seven multiple choice questions in the survey and an opportunity at the end to submit comments. The seven questions in the survey were mainly for general information, asking for information on household income, how far a person might travel to see a concert, and how often that person leaves Mason City to attend events that might take place in a multi-purpose center in Mason City. There were many positive and negative comments left by citizens.
Read the survey here.

Nelson says in his memo that he didn’t agree with the questions asked in the survey. “This ‘Questionnair’ (sic) is loaded to produce results that support a multi-purpose center.”

Nelson sys he had an “objective and honest” Mason City citizen go through the survey results and analyze them. He says this unnamed person read all the comments left at the end of the survey as well. “Anyone who might question the results of the survey percentages needs to read the entire 939 comments and form their own percentage figures.”

Nelson says the real questions that should have been asked are:

1. Can Mason City support such a center?
2. Is a multi-purpose center needed in Mason City?
3. Should taxpayers be expected to pay to build such a complex? Should taxpayers by stuck with upkeep of such a complex?
4. Who is behind this idea? What do they stand to gain?

Nelson says his “objective and honest” Mason City citizen came up with the following results after analyzing the comments left at the end of the survey:

Against the multi-purpose center: Approximately 65%
Support of the multi-purpose center: Approximately 19%
Neutral comments, not for or against: Approximately 16%|

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