ANN ARBOR—The Ann Arbor city council last year asked prominent local institutions to submit possible questions to be asked of area citizens for the city's third annual community survey. But when the local Chamber of Commerce suggested the council ask citizens whether they support or oppose privatization, "it was as though someone had handed city officials a snake," according to editors at The Ypsilanti Press.
"It was enough to put an end to the Ann Arbor Area Chamber of Commerce's participation," wrote the Press. Yet, "the Chamber's proposed questions do exactly what the survey was intended to do: Get city residents' views about financial priorities."
Assuming that the goal of the survey is to get a statistically sound sample of general attitudes toward public spending and budget priorities, the questions, such as, "When city tax revenues grow at a rate greater than inflation, should the money be spent or returned to taxpayers?" seem well aimed. Yet they were refused by the Council members.
The incident displayed "a closed-mindedness stunning in a group purportedly interested in measuring public opinion," the Press opined.