Update 29 February, 2016: So far the pilot survey has seen very little participation. My conclusion is Sage Mesa and Husula residents do not have much interest in this project one way or the other.
The following email invitation was sent out to a handful of Sage Mesa and Husula residents regarding the proposed natural gas extension for those neighborhoods. I relied on word of mouth for the survey invitation because I did not want to attract non-resident participation. But the "snowball sample" methodology only works if people forward the invitation. A such I am posting the invitation here as well in an attempt to attract some more participation from residents of those two neighborhoods. Please spread the word.
I will close the pilot survey by mid-Febuary so please participate before then
Also, based on a few emails I received, I should make a few things extra-clear about the role of the RDOS in this process:
- The RDOS has no stake in the outcome one way or another. We are not in the business of selling natural gas. We are providing "mediation/facilitation" as a service to Sage Mesa and Husula neighborhoods in response to a request from a handful of residents.
- There is currently no budget for this mediation/facilitation effort. This is because there is no service area (taxpayers have not authorized the RDOS to do anything about natural gas). So although you pay your taxes, you do not pay for this. Please keep this in mind.
- Opposition to the proposal means your willingness to pay is quite low. Please indicate this using the survey. We have no way of knowing whether non-participation in the survey is opposition or lack of awareness of the process.
The invitation email:
Dear Husula Highlands/Sage Mesa resident:
As you may know, the RDOS is examining the feasibility of paying Fortis to install a gas line extension in the Sage Mesa and Husula Highlands neighborhoods. If this project goes forward the cost of the extension will be borne by the citizens who benefit from the service. The purpose of this short survey is to learn about the level of support for this service. The question is not, "Are you in or out?" but rather, "What is the maximum you are willing to pay to have this infrastructure in your neighborhood?"
Note: This web-based survey is merely a pilot. The actual survey will be mailed out. The purpose of the pilot survey is to check that the survey task is understandable. We may also use your feedback and ideas to refine the wording and methodology. The results you enter in this pilot survey are non-binding and will not be used to make any decisions. Having said that, we are interested in understanding as much as possible about support for and opposition to this project and would therefore appreciate your best effort to complete the pilot and respond honestly.
You can help us maximize the response rate to this pilot survey (and raise overall awareness of this project) by forwarding this email message to friends and neighbors in Sage Mesa and Husula Highlands.
You may wish to look at the following information prior to starting the survey:
To participate in the survey you click on the following link.
You will be asked to provide name and a valid email address and fill out a simple math question to continue. The purpose of the math question is to prevent this open survey from being bombarded by non-residents, spambots, and so on. A link to the actual survey will then be sent to the email address you provide. This two-stage process is fairly standard because it binds a valid email to each response.
The actual survey is very short and will ask for your street address and neighborhood (Husula or Sage Mesa). Please note that we will accept only one response per household (street address).
We thank you in advance for your willingness to participate in this survey,
Michael Brydon ● Director, Electoral Area 'F'
Regional District of Okanagan-Similkameen
101 Martin Street, Penticton, BC V2A 5J9
p. 250.809.2563 ● tf. 1.877.610.3737 ● f. 250.492.0063
areaf.rdos.bc.ca ● firstname.lastname@example.org