Wast­ing time and ef­fort in Queens

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best place in the world to live.

This raises an in­ter­est­ing ques­tion. Some peo­ple move to a new home be­cause of what the com­mu­nity is others move to a new com­mu­nity be­cause of what they think it can be­come. The two of­ten con­flict.

For ex­am­ple, two re­sponses in the study ex­pressed a need for an out­let mall and six thought we needed box stores. Two re­sponses op­posed box stores. You can see the prob­lem. There were over eighty sug­ges­tions for im­proved ameni­ties in Queens. Some were be­yond the abil­ity of the re­gion to ac­com­plish (for ex­am­ple a new ferry) and others, like the ex­am­ples given were in con­flict. Many were vague such as “Cham­ber of Com­merce needs to do some­thing.” They didn’t say what they should do.

Even though 17 re­sponses ex­pressed over­all sat­is­fac­tion with Queens the re­spon­dents still saw room for im­prove­ment.

Un­for­tu­nately, there ap­pears to have been no fol­low-up (none that I could find or the re­gion would sup­ply) to the sur­vey or re­sponse to the con­cerns and opin­ions gath­ered. This, is typ­i­cal of re­gional sur­veys. We ask ques­tions but do not re­spond to the an­swers. How dif­fi­cult would it have been to con­tact the sur­vey par­tic­i­pants to tell them why the re­gion couldn’t or wouldn’t act on their sug­ges­tions?

This sur­vey was not unique. We have paid for pro­fes­sion­ally done stud­ies in the past but coun­cil hasn’t seen fit to ex­plain their ac­tions or in­ac­tions to the peo­ple who paid for them. Is it any won­der that many peo­ple just ig­nore the stud­ies.

We know coun­cil will do its best (a fright­en­ing prospect in its own right) and we know they re­ally care about the re­gion but they of­ten fail to en­gage the cit­i­zens in a mean­ing­ful dia­logue. A sur­vey is not a dia­logue and should not be an end unto it­self. A prop­erly done sur­vey not only asks ques­tions but seeks to make sense of the an­swers.

To be fair, as was ev­i­denced by the clos­ing of the tres­tle, coun­cil does not al­ways ig­nore a sur­vey’s ad­vice. It is re­gret­table that the tres­tle has re­fused to fall down on its own ac­cord thereby jus­ti­fy­ing coun­cil’s and the en­gi­neers’ fears. Some times com­mon sense will save money and em­bar­rass­ment.

In the fu­ture, the re­gion might con­sider a study of why we can’t or won’t do what the sur­veys tell us to do.

South Shore Pub­lic Li­braries has an ac­tiv­ity or two (or more!) just for you - Take a look and see what’s hap­pen­ing this week!

Story Time – Septem­ber 15 – Thomas H. Rad­dall Li­brary Ad­ven­ture Club – Septem­ber 15 – Thomas H. Rad­dall Li­brary Art 4 Kids – Septem­ber 12 – Mar­garet Hen­ni­gar Pub­lic Li­brary

Soc­cer & Brazil lec­ture se­ries – Septem­ber 7, 14 – all town li­braries Ur­ban So­ci­ol­ogy lec­ture se­ries – Septem­ber 8 – all town li­braries Rad­dall Read­ing Club – Septem­ber 12 – Thomas H. Rad­dall Li­brary CAN video 1 – Septem­ber 13 – Thomas H. Rad­dall Li­brary Hello iPad – week 1 – Septem­ber 14 – Thomas H. Rad­dall Li­brary Seed Clean­ing work­shop – Septem­ber 7 – Mar­garet Hen­ni­gar Pub­lic Li­brary Bridge­wa­ter Writ­ers – Septem­ber 14 – Mar­garet Hen­ni­gar Pub­lic Li­brary

Chess Club – Septem­ber 7, 14 – Mar­garet Hen­ni­gar Pub­lic Li­brary Gam­ing Un­plugged! – Septem­ber 13 – Mar­garet Hen­ni­gar Pub­lic Li­brary

*All pro­grams are free, but some re­quire reg­is­tra­tion – please call your lo­cal li­brary to find out more.

For de­tails on these South Shore Pub­lic Li­braries pro­grams, check out our web­site at southshore­pub­li­cli­braries.ca or visit your lo­cal li­brary and pick up a copy of the pro­gram guide. South Shore Pub­lic Li­braries -- Read. Dis­cover. Learn. Share.

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