The city of San Jose recently completed a scientific poll of 902 residents. This poll cost $50,000. As I mentioned in a prior blog, I took many of the poll questions and posted them on the District 6 website (the district I represent) and here, on San Jose Inside. I entered the questions and three of my own into a web-based survey solution which costs $20 a year. The survey closed yesterday with 839 completing the 15 page survey (973 respondents completed part of the survey). Unlike past surveys where District 6 residents were 90 percent of the respondents, only 43.9 percent of the respondents were from District 6 this time.
The city’s poll found that:
48% would support a half cent sales tax increase.
53% of likely voters would support a 1/4 cent sales tax increase.
The web survey poll showed:
54.4% of respondents would support a 1/2 cent sales tax increase.
51.2% would support a 1/4 cent sales tax.
When I removed all non San Jose respondents the numbers were 52.1% would support a 1/2 cent sales tax increase and 51.3% would support a 1/4 cent sales tax increase. A web survey does not control demographics and likely voters.
The City’s poll found that a majority of residents were supportive to some of the proposed cuts:
Delay opening the South SJ Police Substation 67%
Reducing public information hours at police station 66%
Reducing police patrolling downtown on horseback 61%
Reducing park rangers at regional parks 61%
Reducing senior nutrition 57%
Reducing enforcement of building codes 55%
Reducing graffiti removal 55%
Reducing park maintenance 53%
The web survey with only SJ residents were supportive of some of the proposed cuts:
Delay opening of South SJ Police Substation 73.%
Reducing public information hours at police station 86.6%
Reduce police patrolling downtown on horseback 75%
Reducing park rangers at regional parks 71.1%
Reducing senior nutrition 77%
Reducing enforcement of building codes 57.2%
Reducing graffiti removal 49.4%
Reducing park maintenance 56.6%
Reducing library hours 68.2%
Reducing recreation programs 64.9%
When asked how they would divide $100 among five different goals:
Safe City $25
Prosperous City $23.80
Green City $16.40
Vibrant City $14.80
Web Poll, SJ residents only:
Safe City $33.08
Prosperous City $18.26
Green City $13.01
Vibrant City $13.41
When asked which one of the following three strategies the City of San Jose should place the highest priority on to address its budget shortfall?
Reduce employee compensation & benefits 41%
Reduce existing city services 21%
Raising taxes & fees 25%
None & Don’t Know 13%
Web survey, SJ residents only:
Reduce employee compensation & benefits 58.2%
Reduce existing city services 15.9%
Raising taxes & fees 13.3%
Don’t Know 5.1%
Here are results of SJ only respondents to the three questions I added:
Tax Medicinal Marijuana: 83.5% Yes, 9.6% No, 6.9% Don’t Know
New tax only for Trails: 43.9% Yes, 46.3% No, 9.9% Don’t Know
New tax only for Police: 30.8% Yes, 59.2% No, 10% Don’t Know
The support for taxing marijuana for medicinal uses tracks the voting results in the recent Colorado and Oakland elections.
However the biggest feedback from the survey for me was the 564 comments (495 from SJ residents). These comments are feedback to policy makers and are likely voices we will not hear at an actual council meeting.
One person who participated in the survey made reference to me as a specific animal; that’s okay, this is America, land of free speech. I thank everyone who participated.
On another topic, I attended a vigil on Saturday for the missing 83 year old woman who disappeared on Kingfisher Way in San Jose. Please go to this link for more information or if you have information that could help find her.
This is a good reminder for all of us to look out for our neighbors.