Spotsylvania News

Jeff Branscome writes about Spotsylvania County.

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Citizen Survey Poll

It is common knowledge that the Citizens’ Survey that supervisors pay the University of Virginia to do,  to measure how residents feel about quality of life, the schools, county services, transportation and a bunch of other things, costs as much as $45,000.

What has become a growing trend is how this information is used. For example, during the elections last year, one supervisor used the results–the positive results, that is–for his campaign material.

Now, the school system is using it. Karen Bolipata wrote this story today about a flier the school system e-mailed to parents. You can see the flier here.

Notice the use of the Citizens’ Survey where the school system touts that the 900 people out of the 120,000 residents who participated in the survey have trust in the school system and are satisfied with how the school system spends taxpayers’ dollars.

So, two trendy uses of this survey are for political campaigns and school system fliers promoting their budget.

In Bolipata’s story, Schools Superintendent Jerry Hill says that although the flier aimed to spread awareness of the public hearing, the flier was not an encouragement to attend.

I came across an e-mail today that Mr. Hill sent to, I believe, his entire staff. I have not confirmed if this e-mail was sent to the mailing list of parents. The e-mail included the flier. The emphasis and colors in the e-mail are added by Hill. But there is one statement in the e-mail I will make larger than the rest.

Have a good day everyone. I will see some of you tonight at the public hearing.

Here is the e-mail:



Good Morning!

I hope you enjoyed your Spring Break and found time to relax with family and friends. Besides spending some time working with the School Board on the FY09 Budget, I was able to spend a few days in Ohio with my grandson and work in my yard.

As you may know, we are facing potential cuts to the School Board’s approved FY09 budget. Attached is a flier that provides information on how the tax rate, which will be anywhere between $.56 to $.62, will impact our school budget. Also listed are the items that will be considered by the School Board if significant cuts must be made. The Public Hearing of the Board of Supervisors on the FY09 budget is scheduled for tomorrow evening at 6:30 PM in the Auditorium at Courtland High School. We need parents to speak in support of our schools.

I want to thank you in advance for your hard work and commitment to student achievement as we approach the final two months of the school year. No matter what your job is in the school division, you play a major role in delivering quality education to our students.




  • gramps

    Hill said, “the flier was not an encouragement to attend.” Ho-Ho-Ho. If anyone out there does not believe that Hill AND the school board did not know what they were doing, I have a bridge in Arizona I want to sell to them.

  • gramps

    methinks I have one too many “nots” in my last post. Sorry about that.