The numbers don’t lie.
The City of Roswell, GA sent out a press release, which — by the way — was published without question by The Atlanta-Journal Constitution (http://www.ajc.com/news/north-fulton/roswell-earns-high-marks-844687.html). There are, however, many questions when numbers are misrepresented and skewed.
Below is the press release in its entirety. But before reading it; Roswell residents should know that as of 2010, there are 96,467 people living in the city limits. Of those residents, only 2,300 received surveys: this is a mere 2.4 percent of the population. Of those 2,300 people, only 588 responded: this represents a little over .6 pecent (.006 in other words) of the population.
Therefore, the first line’s “ninety-five percent” of the press release should read “ Roswell residents rated the quality of life in the City of Roswell as ‘excellent’ or ‘good’ in a recent survey…”
Keep in mind that it’s 559 people out 96,467 that are addressed below:
“Ninety-five percent of Roswell residents rated the quality of life in the City of Roswell as “excellent” or “good” in a recent survey conducted by the National Research Center (NRC). City services also received high marks from residents with nine in 10 people rating City services as “good” or “excellent.”
Other results from the survey indicate that 96 percent of residents feel safe in their neighborhoods at night, and people move to Roswell because of its location, neighborhoods, schools and park system.
Roswell was also compared with cities across the nation of comparable size and was ranked number one in the “value of services for the taxes paid,” police protection, fire protection, code enforcement, and employee responsiveness to citizens.
Roswell Mayor Jere Wood said he and the City Council were very pleased with the survey results. “The City of Roswell has always prided itself on offering the highest-quality services in a fiscally-responsible manner to our citizens. This survey shows that our citizens are pleased with the job their City government is doing.”
Roswell contracted with the NRC in October to conduct the survey. The survey was mailed to 2,300 randomly selected Roswell households in October and early November 2010. The NRC received 588 responses for a margin of error of +/- 4 percent.”
How random was it? Well, there is a 94 page report (http://www.roswellgov.com/DocumentView.aspx?DID=1720) submitted by NRC (for a mere 559 people?) telling us: paid for by Roswell tax dollars. One can’t help but wonder if paying a few college kids to go door-to-door is a better way — financially and statistically — to get results.
Do these figures truly represent the “value of services for the taxes paid” in Roswell? How can they with such a low number of individuals as participants? They can’t — plain and simple.
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