Just received an e-mail from them containing the following press release. Basically, it indicates a 59% support for the project in Eureka, with 22% opposing when a summary of the arguments are presented side-by-side (the information so far doesn’t state whether both sides were consulted regarding the wording of the arguments for their side). Sounds pretty high to me, but I guess we’ll find out how accurate the poll is a week from tomorrow. I do also have to say that the pro-project information is much more detailed than the opposition information, and question number 5 is classic push poll language. However, the support is indicated high even before you get to that language.
Marina Center Project Enjoys Widespread Support According to New Poll
Eureka, CA (10/30/06) — The Humboldt Business Council (HBC), today (Oct. 30) released the entire results from a new poll of Eureka voters regarding the Marina Center project. The survey found widespread awareness and support for Security National Property’s mixed use project proposed on the former Union Pacific’s Balloon Track on the southern end of downtown.
The project includes office, retail, light manufacturing and residential housing on the 33 acre parcel. The proposed plan includes a clean up of the toxic contaminations to a standard that meets or exceeds state and federal environmental standards. Additionally the project includes a ten-acre wetland preserve, a Home Depot, a new home for the children’s Discovery Museum and walking and biking trails.
There has been considerable debate about the merits of the project with claims and counter claims dominating the civic dialogue.
“There are so many different opinions about the Marina Center project that we felt it was important to get a neutral reading of the attitudes of the Eureka community”, said Chris Crawford, the Humboldt Business Council chair.
The poll found that 75% of Eureka residents have a high awareness of the Marina Center with 64% supporting the project and 23% opposing the current plan.
When arguments are presented supporting and opposing the project, almost 2 of every 3 residents support the proposed Center.
“We presented neutral language about the plan to get an objective understanding of public attitudes. This was followed by a question that gave the strongest views from both sides”, said Crawford. “Our goal was to get unbiased results that would not be affected by the political views of the poll sponsor”.
The survey was conducted by national research firm, Fairbanks, Maslin, Maullin and Associates from October 26 –28, 2006. FMM&A is recognized as one of the top survey firms in California and has worked on hundreds of research projects throughout northern California and the state. The survey randomly interviewed 300 Eureka voters and has a margin of error of 5.7%. The poll in its entirety will be made available later this week for public review and inspection on the HBC website at http://www.Humboldtbiz.org
“We hope this survey is used by our city leaders to chart a positive course for this project”, Crawford concluded.
The decision to commission the poll came after a unanimous vote by the HBC membership.
# # #
FAIRBANK, MASLIN, MAULLIN & ASSOCIATES OCTOBER 26-28, 2006
Hello, I’m ___________ from FMMA, a public opinion research company. I am definitely NOT trying to sell you anything. We are conducting a survey about issues that interest people living in Eureka, and we are only interested in your opinions. May I speak to______________? YOU MUST SPEAK TO THE VOTER LISTED. VERIFY THAT THE VOTER LIVES AT THE ADDRESS LISTED, OTHERWISE TERMINATE.
1. First, does anyone in this household work for a radio station, a television station, a newspaper, an advertising agency, for an elected official, or as a paid political campaign worker?
2. Next, in November there will be an election for U.S. Senate, Governor and other state and local offices and ballot measures. How likely are you to actually vote in this election? Will you definitely vote, probably vote, are the chances 50-50 that you will vote, will you probably not vote, or will you definitely not vote?
Definitely vote——————————— 95%
Probably vote———————————– 3%
Probably not vote—————– TERMINATE
Definitely not vote—————- TERMINATE
(DON’T KNOW/NA)————- TERMINATE
3. Have you seen or heard anything recently about the Marina Center? (IF YES, ASK: “Have you heard a great deal, something, or very little about it?”)
Yes, a great deal————————— –57%
Yes, something—————————– –18%
Yes, very little —————————— –11%
No, haven’t heard anything————— –13%
(DON’T READ) Don’t know————— –0%
4. The Marina Center project would change zoning regulations in the 38-acre Balloon Track area to authorize the Marina Center, a retail, office and residential development, including a Home Depot. Would you support or oppose this proposal?
(DON‘T READ) Need more info———– 6%
(DON‘T READ) DK/NA———————- 7%
5. Let me give you some more information about The Marina Center Project. It would include a new home for the children’s discovery museum, provide walking and biking trails, generate sales and property taxes by more than a million and a half dollars annually for city services, would clean up Clark Slough (SLEW) and create an eleven-acre wetlands preserve. Knowing this would you support or oppose the Marina Center Project?
(DON‘T READ) Need more info———– 5%
(DON‘T READ) DK/NA———————- 6%
6. Now I am going to read you a pair of statements that have been made about the Marina Center Project. Please tell me which statement is closer to your opinion. Please choose just one even if it is hard to decide. (ROTATE)
[ ] The Marina Center project is a good idea because it would include environmental clean up that meets and exceeds all state standards, creates an eleven acre wetland preserve, provides a thousand quality jobs, builds affordable housing and retail stores, and generates additional revenue for public services including public safety.——————————————— 59%
[ ] The Marina Center project is a bad idea because it inadequately cleans up the environment, would put a big box store on the last piece of Eureka’s waterfront property, hurts area businesses and will not benefit local residents, creates more traffic, and has circumvented the public process to decide the best use of the land.——————————————————————— 22%
(MAKES NO DIFFERENCE)———————————————————————— 2%
(DON‘T KNOW/NA)———————————————————————————- 11%