SCARBOROUGH — This fall, the town of Scarborough may roll out a community-wide survey to seek residential input on a variety of topics that could better inform decisions.

The Scarborough Town Council, on May 5, voted in favor of allowing the Communication Committee to submit a request for proposal in order to find a third-party survey vendor. The committee will begin drafting this request proposal during its meeting on May 24.

Councilor Ken Johnson, chair of the committee, said the last community-wide survey in Scarborough was in 2000.

“Out of that came lots of info to help drive a lot of policy decisions, zoning, (comprehension) plan, growth management, and we think it’s time to have that happen again,” he said.

The town has $10,000 put aside for the process, Ken Johnson said.

“This money was approved three years ago,” he said. “We’ve held onto it tight. We’re not sure what the cost of this effort is but we’re very mindful of the budget, and we’re hoping we can pull it off with what we have. If not, then we might come ask for some help.”

Council Chair Paul Johnson said there is a possibility the town may need to approve additional funding.

Other councilors said they were supportive of the request.

Councilor John Cloutier said, “It’s the right way to go about it, something we’ve been talking about for years, since that money was allocated. I’m glad you’re moving it forward.”

A survey that reaches a variety of Scarborough’s population is important, said Councilor Betsy Gleysteen.

“As we talk about this going further, I really hope we see a statistically valid survey that reaches out to a lot of different groups,” she said. “I don’t want to say it will ever speak for the whole town, but it’s not just a whoever-answers-it type of thing.”

The committee will be interested to see how the third-party assistance will operate, Ken Johnson said.

“The thoroughness and the depth of the survey is definitely a concern of everybody,” he said. “We want as many people as want to be involved with this to get to that. And we’re going to let the professionals tell us how they’re going to do that.”

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