Community survey extended; incompletes concern officials

By Rick Kennedy, managing editor
The ongoing community-wide survey being touted by the City of Hope and the Hempstead EDC has been extended to March 11, while a scheduled community-wide meeting has been for March 26.
Related to the deadline adjustment, a surprising revelation came out of an update Monday provided by Steve Harris, executive director of the agency.
“People have been responding; we have an updated number of 800 persons who have participated, but 250 of them are incomplete, so that leaves about 550 survey responses as valid.”
Harris could not speculate on the incomplete surveys, other than saying “They weren’t finished.”
April Campbell of the AEDI in Little Rock said Monday, “If they are incomplete, then we can’t use them; it is an issue of survey protocols and ethics. It is very important that people work through the survey, and finish it. They can skip questions, if they don’t know an answer, but they need to finish it out.”
Campbell said that in previous ACCESS surveys in places like Ashdown and DeQueen that there were a few that were incomplete.
“It is pretty normal to have some incompletes; it happens everywhere, so Hope isn’t unique in that way. The percentage of incompletes is a bit high,” she said.
In response to keeping opportunities open and obtaining as much data as possible, Harris said that the survey deadline has been extended to Monday, March 11. The initial deadline mentioned by officials was March 1, which is this Friday.
And, the subsequent community-wide survey meeting at Hempstead Hall has also been rescheduled from its original date to a new one on Tuesday, March 26 at 5:30 p.m. It will still be at Hempstead Hall, according to Harris.
“The survey is our starting point. We need to get those surveys in, have them analyzed by AEDI, and have that public meeting. We want to move forward. and we want everyone to be heard,” Harris said.
The survey was also discussed at last week’s Hope City Board meeting. At that time, Hope Mayor Steve Montgomery expressed concerns that the majority of the surveys had been submitted by higher-wage earners and white citizens.
On Monday, Campbell said, “It is consistent with what we’ve experiences in other places, and I agree that it is concerning.”
Campbell suggested that local organizers may want to sponsor a “Survey Day,” or community coffee, or organize a survey event at a central location, such as the local library, to improve the diversity of input for the surveys.
The online link to participate in AEDI survey from a personal computer or other online device can be directly accessed here at:

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