The Lisbon Reporter posted a Public Announcement about a survey pertaining to Route 9 located on the town web site, yesterday. After posting this Public Announcement, I decided to take this survey. Half way through the survey, I realized it was nothing more than another example of the “Good Old Boys” network trying to influence the people of Lisbon. I also learned that Richard and Gina Mason are members of this network because it was Rick Mason who spoke at a Council meeting to allow him to sell used cars off his property. Chairman Bickford is pushing the Planning Board to make this happen.
You see Mr. Mason’s property is located on Route 9 in a Rural Open 1 zoning. The selling of used cars is strictly forbidden in this zone. The selling of used cars only clutters the area as evident from a trip down Route 196. Also, there is no significant relief in the tax base so there is no real value in having all these used cars lining the major artilleries of Lisbon.
The survey has several questions that are invalid because they do not list all available options. In fact, they are written as to imply that Route 9 zoning has been changed to commercial. Asking invalid questions, about a change that has not taken place, only provides an invalid response and does not generate a potential thought of any value.
In order to generate a survey/tool to be used as a means to help understand what the people want, you first have to ask the right questions and not predetermined ones. Second, you must list all available options in order to clearly understand the position of the individual filling out the survey. Asking loaded questions; enable you to get your desired results but does not provide a true understand of how the people feel. This is the case with this Route 9 survey. The “Good Old Boys” want to change Route 9 from a Rural Open 1 to commercial zoning. That way, they can line Route 9 with used car lots and repair shops like Route 196.
The people living on Route 9 did not build their dream homes with this thought in mind. Changing Route 9 to commercial will increase the flow of traffic. Look at the increase in the flow of traffic since the state widen and repaired the road. Changing Route 9 to commercial will lower the property value and destroy the agriculture look of this community.
This survey is slanted and meant to influence the Town Council and Planning Board in a negative way. A true survey should be prepared and offered to the community if you want a valid response.