Master Plan Steering Committee postpones survey, approves RFP for help with Master Plan

October 24, 2014

Editor’s Note:  A notice appeared on the town’s website this week informing residents that the Master Plan Steering Committee has decided to postpone to February/March 2015 the survey that was to have taken place in September/October of this year.  Their reasons are set out below.  They also endorsed the release of a Request for Proposals for Master Plan assistance.

From the town’s website:  On October 21, 2014, the Master Plan Steering Committee announced that it was postponing the master plan survey until February/March 2015 so the survey could be better aligned with the progress of its work on the master plan update. The Committee also expressed concern about conducting the survey now, during the midst of the Fall election season, while residents are already receiving an influx of robo calls and political surveys. The Committee’s memorandum concerning the timing of the survey may be viewed here:

From: New Castle Master Plan Steering Committee
Maud Bailey
Richard Brownell
Robert Kirkwood
Robert Lewis
Christopher Roberta

To: Town Board

Re: MASTER PLAN SURVEY (PSB)

Date: October 21, 2014

On October 17, 2014 the New Castle Master Plan Steering Committee met to discuss the
September 2014 Draft Master Plan Survey provided by Penn Schoen and Berland (PSB).
The ultimate question was whether or not useful information would be generated through
the survey in its current form to further the Master Plan Update process. The Committee
concluded that many of the proposed survey questions would provide little more than
affirmation of the Pace Land Use Law Center Outreach effort. The MPSC seeks more
useful public input.

After we reached this conclusion, we discussed whether or not each member was
prepared to draft new questions based on their strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and
threats (SWOT) analysis with each of their work groups. Some work groups have not
met to finalize their SWOT analysis and need a bit more time to complete this stage of
their work. In addition to this issue, concern was raised by the MPSC regarding “survey
saturation” during the midst of election season when robo calls and political surveys are
flooding town residents daily.

We unanimously endorse the release of the request for proposal for Master Plan
assistance. The additional help will enable us to focus on formulating draft goals and
objectives, which we can use to better elicit public input for the Town’s vision.
The Town Planner has submitted to you an updated version of the request for proposals
(which was sent to you on October 17th) which identifies a revised project schedule. As
you can see from this project schedule, the second round of outreach is proposed for
March through June of next year. We expect to be prepared to create new survey
questions in February/March of next year.

Thank you for the opportunity to review and comment on this survey.

To see the pdf on the town’s website, click HERE.

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