Kevin Collins: Let’s ask the ‘silent majority’ what they think

Thursday, April 29, 2021

Let’s ask the ‘silent majority’ what they think

The greatest challenge facing our Town Council is to bring back together the whole town, the “silenced majority,” that large group of Amherst voters who want nothing to do with town politics. Many in our town are so turned-off by this circus that they want nothing to do with the future of Amherst. If anyone could say “they never listen to us” (over all the shouting), it would be them. Or us, because who needs it!?

What is the most effective and efficient way to find out what people want? Ask them! Not each and every one, for consensus is merely the most expensive way; but to conduct a professional, impartial scientific survey. One which we will all agree represents our hopes, needs, and desires for the future, of everyone, of all of us. This is not an unreasonable expense for a $25 million a year business with a $2 billion property base, like Amherst. These things take time, but it will be worth it.

Fairfax County, Virginia is one of the most college-educated places in the country and they have been so kind as to share their knowledge, hope and experience in the form of three brochures: Common Pitfalls in Conducting a Survey, Survey Questionnaire Design, and Overview of Sampling Procedures. These three brochures will help us understand why we would make this investment and why we would trust it moving forward. I invite everyone to consider this as a starting point in bringing back together our town.

Please feel free to visit fairfaxcounty.gov/demographics/research-tools (bottom of the page) or view or download all three brochures at amherstdemogrph.com

And do it now. Because, to paraphrase Albert Einstein, time is strictly one-directional, there is no going back.

Kevin Collins