Wednesday, September 03, 2008

Pensacola: A Nice Place to Visit, but....

"I can't think of an instance where I've seen lower numbers. What it paints is a community that is anxious, concerned and dissatisfied."
-- Larry Harris, Mason-Dixon pollster
Reporter Rebekah Allen of the News Journal today summarizes a recent privately commissioned Mason-Dixon "quality of life" poll about Pensacola that, frankly, makes the area look terrible.
Most Escambia and Pensacola residents say they're not only unhappy with their quality of life and the local economy, they also lack confidence that government leaders are suited to make improvements... .

Fifty-four percent of Escambia respondents said the county is "on the wrong track," and just two in 10 of those polled believed that either the county or the city is headed in the right direction.

Thirty-one percent of respondents said they are likely to move from the area within the next five years. And when asked about the economic future of Escambia County, just 30 percent said it would get better.

"I can't think of an instance where I've seen lower numbers," said Mason-Dixon pollster Larry Harris. "What it paints is a community that is anxious, concerned and dissatisfied."

Allen doesn't delve into the actual questions asked, though, so it's hard to tell if the poll was loaded in any way toward Maritime Park supporter Quint Studer, who "paid for the poll to jump-start a nonprofit group that hopes to push the community forward."

Rick Outzen, publisher of the Independent News, has a bit more. There, we learn that the last question asked was more loaded than the groom at a Budweiser bachelor's party. The exact wording was:
"Without leadership and a clear, shared vision there is little chance for coordinated, successful efforts to attract economic opportunity, jobs and to improve the overall quality of life."
We're told 91% agreed with that statement and 8% disagreed. As for the missing one percent, either they were lost in the rounding up or they were complete rounders themselves.

Even though the poll may have been a little biased, we'd have to agree with where the 800 people polled placed the blame. Speaking personally, we've lived in small towns and large all over the nation. Without a doubt, Pensacola is cursed with some of the most atrocious political office holders, phlegmatic business leaders, and self-absorbed, penurious people of wealth we've ever encountered.

We don't know him personally, but Quint Studer doesn't strike us as being in that same mold. From what we can tell, he's one of the few who does good for the community while doing well. More power to him. Let's hope his poll, biased or not, wakes up some of the many dead-heads around here.

1 comment:

Scott said...

This is exactly why I left two years ago. No progressive leadership, just the same old groups holding onto the same sized old pie the same old way.