by Noëlle McAfee
Soon the Special Design Review Committee (SDRC) of the Civic Association of Hollin Hills will survey the community on its views on the design review guidelines. Several members of the civic association have asked that the questionnaire be posted before it is finalized. The idea is that the entire community should be able to see the questionnaire in advance — and have an opportunity to suggest revisions. One person has volunteered to do the labor of putting it on the civic association’s web site. But as of tonight, those involved have said “no” to these requests. What’s the big secret? If there’s no secret, why can’t civic assciation members see the questions? Anyone who has been involved with survey research knows how crucial it is to frame questions appropriately — and even how important the ordering of the questions is. It is truly unfortunate, to put it mildly, that the membership of the organization is being kept in the dark.
Some worry aloud that a process cannot work if everyone in the civic association has a hand in every decision. This worry has its place. But going to the other extreme is even more worrisome. The truth is that not everyone will want to weigh in; most people may well be happy with letting their representatives handle things. But most people also want to be able to see what is going on, in plain view, especially when asked.
What do others think about this?