Thursday, August 12, 2010

Capital Budget '10/11: referenda history & trends

Last week I offered this compilation of all referenda since 2002. But I didn't discuss any trend lines. And I did find a couple of interesting trend lines.

Notice how support for "roads" has decreased from 67% to 54% over the past few years?

I also find it interesting that "school improvements" consistently pass with 57% support... but "school energy improvements" have lost support, dropping from 67% in 2006 to 53% in 2009.With regard to roads, my only thought for decreased support is the economy... and that roads don't need to be repaired immediately... as compared to, perhaps, a leaky school roof which probably has a higher priority. I know I'm more interested in fixing a leak in my roof than in repaving my driveway.

With regard to school energy improvements, the 67% support was in November 2006. We had $4 gasoline during the summer of 2006. Perhaps energy improvements were a higher priority at that time?... yet at the same time, school improvements -- such as leaky roofs -- still need to be addressed.

I don't think there were any other similar referenda items with at least three data points to form any statistically significant trendlines.

Your thoughts?

Tim White

Note: The upper referenda are related to the PW dept. The lower referenda are all related to schools.

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