Pulse of Concord: Poll Results July 2011

The Pulse Of Concord is a monthly poll on topics suggested by the past participants and with questions attempting to be neutral so as to not beg for a particular answer. For example “would you favor an elected mayor, or district elections in Concord….” The respondents’ number this month was about 150 with 90% being Concord residents. To participate go to www.PulseOfConcord.com (its free) and to suggest topics and questions go to EdiBirsan@Astound.net.

1. Should there be lifetime medical insurance, independent of Medicare guaranteed to civil employees?
By more than two to one people felt NO. 69% no and 30% yes. This brings up questions on the whole universal medical care or medical insurance debate that was more active a year ago.

2. If a civil servant has medical coverage available to them (such as through their spouse) should they be given the cash equivalent of coverage or should there be no pay out?
An overwhelming number responded NO 82% vs. 17%. Here is where we get a divide in the perception between what are benefits and what is compensation. Compensation is monetarized where people perceive benefits as something more akin to association perks.

3. Should the Singing Flag be moved to the Pavilion?
By 63% to 37% the answer was yes overall with not much deviation between the Concord and non-Concord residence. I found it interesting that no one asked ‘What is the Singing Flag?’ which speaks well for the market penetration of the event.

4. Does it matter to you if the City of Concord is divided between two or more County Board of Supervisors?
Concord residents responded 20% no,47% yes and 32% don’t care. While the Non Concord residents went 10% no, 40% yes and 50% don’t care. Makes you wonder if the caring part for the Non Residents was: “Yes we care and we want it done!” However, it is irrelevant at this point as the city remains in one single supervisory district as of the last vote of the Supervisors, though Antioch, Pinole, and Walnut Creek are divided. What might be interesting is to delve into the interactions between the average citizen and the supervisor to see what they think they are up to.

5. Should fireman and policemen in Concord be on the same pay scale?
This was interesting in that 41% said yes and there seemed to be a split between the Police leading the Firemen by 2-1 on the police being paid more. Certainly there are a lot more police than firemen in Concord.

6. Are the streets in your neighborhood being maintained (pot holes filled etc) to your satisfaction?
A 51 to 49% split between yes and no. I wonder if the zip code was included we could see if there was a neighborhood or area of the city that felt it was being neglected. Also interesting would be the match up with intensity of traffic.

7. Should the City devote $100K a year to a college scholarship program for our High School Student residents that go to a college in Concord?
Over 55% disagree (34% strongly) while 20% agree and 25% are neutral. I found this fascinating. I grew up in a city *(NYC) when college was free to residents who could qualify to get in. Promoting higher education was considered one of the job generation engines of the city and a way to make the city more attractive to live in and thus higher property values.

8. Do you watch the City Council sessions on TV?
More than 30% watch the sessions (regardless of being a resident or not, but presumably they are watching their own city council). This is almost a scary concept. With such ratings maybe we should start selling advertisement space to increase General Fund revenues?

9. If there were to be a shift of 10% of Concord Police Resources into one category which of the following would you pick:
The breakdown was:
Gangs 41%
Illegal Loitering 16%
Juvenile Crime 13%
Traffic 10%
Low-level crime 9%
Canines 5%
DUI/Public Drunks 2%
ID Theft 1%
The Non-residents had a marked shift moving Illegal Loitering up to number one and then gangs. Illegal loitering is perceived by most to be day laborers and homeless gatherings. It would be most interesting to do a survey in the police department of what they would think this should be and break it down by rank and file vs. officers. Something to toss out at the Chief!

10. Concord’s position on the Homeless is:
36%: Not Working
33%: Don’t understand it
22%: Too Lax
5% : Just Right
1%: Too Strong
Here there is a case for the City to step up and maybe explain a little more just what it is that they policy is and to sell it to the people if they believe that it is working.

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Author: Edi Birsan

Concord Resident since 1983, raised two children here who went to the public schools. Working in the international container cargo business since 1973 with my own small business since 1986 involved in Container Technical Surveys and related services.