Town survey to launch in ‘next couple weeks’

The Board of Finance’s survey subcommittee will launch its town-wide survey to determine Wilton taxpayers’ spending priorities “within the next couple weeks,” finance board member and subcommittee chair Richard Creeth announced at the board’s Sept. 25 meeting.

The Board of Finance’s survey subcommittee was formed in February. In addition to Creeth, its members include:

  • Deborah McFadden from the Board of Selectmen.

  • Deborah Low from the Board of Education.

  • Sally Poundstone from the Planning and Zoning Commission.

  • John Kelly from the Economic Development Commission.

  • David Rothstein, a Wilton resident with experience in the field of market research who volunteered to serve on the subcommittee.

At its last meeting on Aug. 28, Creeth said, the survey subcommittee received “a lot of input” from First Selectwoman Lynne Vanderslice and finalized questions.

When asked by finance board member John Kalamarides if the survey questions “duplicate any of the POCD [Plan of Conservation Development] information,” Creeth replied, “Not really.”

“When you see the survey, you’ll see that it’s very focused on the Board of Finance’s desire to understand financial priorities in the towns,” said Creeth, “so it doesn’t really overlap with the POCD stuff.”

The survey is “now a program and available for testing,” said Creeth. In fact, he said, he tested the survey earlier that day and completed it in about 10 minutes.

“We want a survey that collects enough meaningful information without being so long to complete that everybody drops off before the end,” he said. “It’s pretty important that people hang in there to the end.”

Creeth offered to send his fellow finance board members a link to the survey so they can test it. Their data, he noted, won’t be saved.

Social media expertise sought

Creeth added that the subcommittee is looking for someone with social media expertise to help reach “underrepresented segments” of taxpayers.

“If anybody knows any social media gurus, I’d love to find one to help us with this effort. We don’t really have any social media expertise on the subcommittee, and I think that may be important,” he said.

“As responses come in, we’re going to count the number of responses by segment, and we need to drive people in the underrepresented segments to complete the survey. Social media may be part of that.”