TOAV releases full report on AVRWC acquisition survey (August 9, 2015)

AVRWC stands by ‘push poll’ accusations.

APPLE VALLEY — The Town of Apple Valley recently released a full report on the town-commissioned survey conducted by True North Research Inc. that concluded most Apple Valley residents support the town’s proposed acquisition of the Apple Valley Ranchos Water Company’s water system.

The town released the report to counter claims Ranchos officials made calling the survey a push poll after True North found that seven of 10 ratepayers endorse the possibility of acquisition.

Push polls are surveys that leads respondents’ answers in the researchers’ desired direction — a tactic the town says the researchers did not use, according to a previous Daily Press report.

Town council members authorized the release of the report in a show of transparency so people can see for themselves exactly what was asked and how many people were asked, according to Town Spokeswoman Kathie Martin.

Prior to the release of the report, we released selected findings, Martin said. The report allows people to see how responses break down by various demographic groups and – most interestingly – shows that support (for acquisition) exceeds 60 percent in every identified subgroup.

The 43-page report provides both summaries and detailed analyses of the survey administered by telephone between June 26 and July 3 to 400 registered Apple Valley voters who reside within Ranchos’ service area, according to town officials.

I think anyone reading it will clearly see it was balanced, and actually presented AVR’s arguments before sharing the Town’s arguments, Martin said.

The average interview for the survey lasted 16 minutes, and asked respondents to weigh in before and after they were presented with the arguments of both sides, according to town officials. Even after AVR arguments were posed, only 19 percent of respondents opposed acquisition, with 11 percent unsure or unwilling to share their position.

Ranchos General Manager Tony Penna told the Daily Press Ranchos stands by its push poll comments.

Several folks contacted us and said that the people performing the survey used high-pressure interview tactics to push them toward the answer they desired, Penna said.

The complete results of the report are available at and on the Town’s website at

Source: Matthew Cabe, Daily Press