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


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.

We encourage civil, civic discourse. All comments are reviewed before publication to assure that this standard is met.

And here we have it- government in action. The MP Steering Committee decides to postpone the much talked much anticipated telephone survey for 6 months!!!
Is it that they want more control and more input of the questions? What’s their ulterior motive? Or is it they they finally realized that the timing of this telephone survey was poor. During the spring and summer we were informed that the town had hired ($33000) a company to conduct a resident survey. After delay it was supposed to commence in Sept then in Oct. After several people posted comments here on NCN pointing out that people generally ignore blocked calls and its specially active during election season. We have all been inundated with robo calls and calls asking us to participate in polls/ surveys for candidates.
It really makes us wonder what type of firm PSB is that they scheduled this telephone survey during election season. You would expect that a professional firm would understand the timing and calendar. So now it’s all n hold until Feb/ March.
No doubt this stall and delay will aide those in opposition to development. They will continue the ridiculous assertion that we must do nothing until the Master Plan is complete. 
No master plan will replace common sense and rule of law.

By Waste of tax payer money on 10/25/2014 at 9:34 am

MP Steerimg Committee Postpones Survey- what is the point of hiring professionals like PACE and PSB and then allowing a bunch of appointed volunteers to dictate the process. It sounds like the committee is looking to exert control over the questions and the timing. Isn’t that what we hired the pros for?
Then again , if you think who is most supportive and insistent on this MP update process, it should surprise no one that a postponement and delay is on the table. Delay stall obstruct postpone …..that is exactly what has our town in the shape it is in.

By Resident on 10/25/2014 at 10:14 am

Thank you Editor Yeres for providing this Town website/ blog. Without doubt several comments posted here ( most anonymous ) resonated with this steering committee and town board. Many comments pointed out that the timing of this paid for telephone survey was poorly thought out. We called to our town officials attention that with election season comes multiple annoying robo calls and pollsters calls. It was also mentioned that the Jewish holidays were late Sept/ Oct. Why didn’t PSB know this? So now the survey is delayed until Jan/Feb.
Even then most of us disregard and ignore blocked calls others simply won’t participate. Maybe we should save the money.

By Remaining anonymous on 10/25/2014 at 2:44 pm

Those quacks you hear are the ducks all lining up for approval of the CC retail plan.  I cannot wait.

By Pat on 10/26/2014 at 12:48 am

Delay. Delay. Delay. Sigh.

By bob on 10/28/2014 at 1:55 pm

Postponements for eternity?

By R gilbret on 10/31/2014 at 7:18 pm

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We encourage civil, civic discourse. In other words, be pithy and polite. All comments will be reviewed before publication to assure that this standard is met.