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Borough Pleased With Early Survey Returns

As of Tuesday, Sept. 11, about 11 percent of Fair Lawn resident surveys had been returned.

Two weeks since , about 11 percent have already been completed and returned.

"We were told 3 percent would make it a successful survey, so we're optimistic about that," borough manager Tom Metzler said. "But what we’re particularly encouraged by is easily 95 percent of the residents that have responded have taken the time to -- there's a section in the back where they can fill in their comments -- put a considerable amount of effort into putting their comments in."

The surveys, which , will be used to inform borough council’s budgetary decisions in wake of future cuts that may be necessary as a result of today's tough economic realities.

Metzler said he's seen a healthy mix of both positive and negative comments so far, but that when residents have been critical of the borough, they've offered constructive criticism.

"We didn’t expect that, that they’re that well engaged," he said. "A lot of people have thanked the council for doing the survey, [writing] that it’s the first time in many, many years they’ve been asked what they think about things in town."

Metzler wouldn't reveal any of the early response trends, so as not to taint future results, but said he's keep keeping close track of the surveys as they come in and has been surprised at some of the responses.

"Our expectation was with certain groups we would find a certain thing and we’re not finding that," he said. "Quite to the contrary. It's very interesting."

While the borough expects the large number of early returns to taper off going forward, Metzler said he believes the study will accomplish its goal.

"I think it’s going to do what I hoped it would do when I introduced it to council, and that was give the council a snapshot of what are the people really thinking, what is important, what is not important, what are their issues?" he said. "It's going to be fascinating."

A handful of residents, apparently wishing to remain anonymous, have returned the surveys with the unique identifying label peeled off. Metzler said those responses would not be counted and urged residents to leave the label on.

"We don’t have time to look at the labels, that’s not what’s important here," he said. "I’ve looked at easily 200 of the surveys myself and I couldn’t tell you a single person who sent the survey in. I’m not interested. It doesn’t matter to me."

All four-page surveys are due back to the borough by Oct. 1. They can be returned by mail or dropped off at the municipal building -- either in the borough manager's office or in the drop box outside the building.

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Tommy P September 11, 2012 at 07:24 PM
Why aren't the "anonymous" returns being counted? Must they really know who thinks our government should be limited? Is this why they fear the ballot box?
Dolphin Fan September 12, 2012 at 01:26 AM
The assistant to the assistant to the assistant looks perplexed, probably from reading all the labels!
Sue M September 12, 2012 at 01:46 AM
They should include ALL responses. Particularly after making public statements that our names would not wind up in front of boro employees. Yet another reason to distrust the borough manager. Someone should get a petition going to stop the 7% increase and cut his salary by that much.
Jules Vernon September 12, 2012 at 02:28 PM
Agree that they should include the anonymous surveys.
TaxedandBurdened September 12, 2012 at 04:07 PM
Fair Lawn Waste = Memorial Pool, Community Center, Library, Skate park, Fireworks, 4 firehouses should be 2 larger firehouses. Make these SIMPLE cuts and poof, MAGIC, the waste goes away! There was no need for a survey, this survey is the chicken's way out!
TaxedandBurdened September 12, 2012 at 04:21 PM
Ярмарка отходов Газон = Мемориал бассейн, общественный центр, библиотека, скейт-парк, фейерверки, 4 firehouses должно быть 2 больших firehouses. Сделать эти простые порезы и пуф, магия, отходы уходит! Существовал нет необходимости обследования, данное исследование является способом из цыпленка!
survey says September 12, 2012 at 07:51 PM
i wouldnt count the anonymous surveys, as long as it constructive criticism i dont see why anyone would be scared to put your name behind what you stand for. whats with the russian translations? maybe our large russian population could be heard and involved more if they didnt just keep to themselves. ive had neighbors move next to me and when i try being friendly and get to know them they act like they have no interest in associating with anyone who is not russian. and many dont even attempt to learn the language because they dont associatte with people who dont speak russian
GEorgePatton September 12, 2012 at 10:06 PM
@Taxed, no one is keeping you here...obviously you've chose not to assimilate

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