At the most recent Woodhaven Town Hall meeting, we had a little experiment. A number of the issues that are frequently called in, or discussed at meetings, were put on display, on a table -- each problem affixed to a cup. Noise, Illegal Conversions, Illegal Signs, etc. Over a dozen different "issue cups" were put out. And as each resident came into the meeting they were handed 7 straws.
The idea was that they had to place a straw into each cup which they felt needed attention. And if they felt that a particular issue needed extra attention, they could place 3 or 4 or all 7 of their straws in that issue cup. Residents took their allotted straws and began voting in our "straw poll" --
One resident said they needed more than 7 straws -- illustrating the point of limited resources. We'd like to concentrate on all of the issues -- but sometimes we have to pick and choose our battles, and this experiment was designed to see which issues mattered most to the residents of Woodhaven. And if a particular issue was not on the table, they were free to add their own issue cup.
It was an interesting experiment, as were the results. "Not Enough Police" came in first with 46 straws (22%), "Illegal Conversions" was in second place with 25 straws (12%) and "Gangs" came in third with 23 straws (11%).
Here are the complete results -- how did the issues that matter most to you fare?
1) Not Enough Police 46 (22%)
2) Illegal Conversions 25 (12%)
3) Gangs 23 (11%)
4) Dirty Streets 20 (10%)
5) Graffiti Vandals 18 (9%)
6) Noisy Neighbors 16 (8%)
7) Noisy Cars 15 (7%)
8) Illegal Driveways 10 (4%)
9) Illegal Dumping 9 (3%)
9) Out Of State Parking 9 (3%)
11) Forest Park Carousel 8 (3%)
12) Bad Snow Response 7 (3%)
13) JHS 210 Students Destroying Property 6 (2%)
13) Illegal Signs 6 (2%)
15) Clogged Sewers 2 (1%)
A few notes:
** Some people felt that Noisy Neighbors and Noisy Cars should have been a single issue -- combined they got 31 straws (15%), good enough for 2nd Place.
** Some issues may be seasonal. Perhaps if we took this straw poll again after the next blizzard, the snow response issue may have gotten more than 3%. On the other hand, we did have a long session with the Department of Sanitation at a prior meeting - perhaps the residents were satisfied with the answers they received.
** The issue with students at JHS 210 was added by a resident, we will be meeting with residents and gathering more details on this issue.
It was an interesting experiment -- and the results have given us food for thought. We'll be having a 2nd Round of our Woodhaven Straw Poll soon -- make sure you attend a Town Hall meeting so you can make sure your voice is counted! the next Woodhaven Town Hall is on Saturday, October 15th at 1 PM -- at the Woodhaven-Richmond Hill Ambulance Corps (78-15 Jamaica Avenue).