Carroll residents satisfied with services, poll finds

June 24, 2005|By Mary Gail Hare | Mary Gail Hare,SUN STAFF

An opinion survey of randomly selected Carroll County residents, made public yesterday, shows satisfaction with county services and interest in official proceedings, but an unwillingness to attend public meetings and an eagerness to log onto the Internet to apply for permits, pay utility bills and read minutes from hearings.

McDaniel College students compiled the results of 600 telephone calls in neighborhoods throughout the county. Officials received another 502 mailed and several hundred electronic replies to 20 questions that ranged from opinions about snow removal and trash collection to fire and emergency services. The survey has a 4-point margin of error.

"The county staff is already working on issues as a result of the survey," said Vivian D. Laxton, public information administrator.

Nearly 80 percent of respondents said they would read the county's newly published newsletter, with 88 percent asking for articles on current issues and how the commissioners voted.

"That readership is better than any given newspaper in the county is getting," said Commissioner Dean L. Minnich.

Ninety-six percent said they felt safe in their communities, and most applauded the timeliness of police and fire responses to emergencies. About 68 percent agreed with the commissioners' plan to moderate growth, but nearly 21 percent said they did not know enough about development issues to answer.

The statistics will assist officials in the reworking of the county master plan, set to get under way this fall.

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