Well, having just watched Bill Alstrom's commentary on the library referendum on Plainfield TV, I would like to correct some misinformation included in his statements. Mr. Alstrom says "The library seemed surprised by this as a survey done last summer showed strong support for a spending spree on a new fancy building and added staff positions." And continues "The library folks want to do another, more extensive survey of the residents to gauge future expansion. This might be a better idea than just making a few phone calls to library regulars in order to get the results they wanted." He also goes on to say that the library should have a web site that would allow residents to leave comments on the plans for future expansion.
The library held two telephone town hall meetings with polls, one in July 2008 and one in January 2009. Constituent Town Hall Services, a non-partisan, approved vendor for both the U.S. House and U.S. Senate, created the phone number list and conducted the telephone town hall meetings. The calls were placed to all households of registered voters in the library district, using the latest available registered voter list from Will County. The Library Board used a reputable vendor and accepted practices for conducting such meetings. Transcripts of the meetings are available on the library's website and here on my blog. The January poll returned 62% support (with a +/-5% margin of error) for a library expansion referendum on the spring 2009 ballot.
The library also conducted a random sample poll of registered voters in the Library District in December 2008. A statistically significant sample of 500 registered voters reporting that they were likely to vote in the spring election returned 68% support (with a +/-4% margin of error) for a library expansion referendum on the spring 2009 ballot. Victory Enterprises, the largest polling company in the Midwest whose clients include the Illinois Republican Party, updated the July phone list of registered voters and conducted the poll. The Library Board used a reputable vendor and accepted practices for conducting this poll.
The combined cost for these polls was less than half of the cost of the comprehensive survey done in 2006 that led to the expansion planning process.
The Library Board of Trustees decided to place the referendum on the ballot on January 26, 2009 in order to meet the statutory election deadline for placing a question on the April 7, 2009 ballot.
You can contact us by phone at 815-436-6639 or my direct line at 815-439-2874; in writing by mail or submissions to the suggestion box located at the Registration Desk in the library; by texting askppl to 66746; or via our website at www.plainfield.lib.il.us where you can contact us by IM or email. Your comments and suggestions are encouraged and always welcome.