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Hooksett Town Council works to finalize resident survey

HOOKSETT — A survey on town issues will reach residents later than expected while town councilors debate what questions they want to ask.

While there are more than 100 questions in the survey, which will cost roughly $14,000 to create and distribute, town councilors are still vigorously discussing just a few questions, Town Administrator Dean Shankle said.

Shankle said the timeline depends on when the town council finalizes the questions.

“We were looking at early fall, but it has probably been pushed back a month, which is fine,” he said. “The town council is going through and picking which questions are relevant or not relevant. They have spent a lot of time figuring out the general questions and the one open-ended question.”

He said the delay would not affect the price of the survey, which is being handled by the National Research Center.

During a town council workshop on July 31, councilors spent the most time debating the open-ended question, Shankle said, in part because it is a question that will allow for a small written response.

“Some councilors wanted to ask residents why a budget hasn’t been passed in the past two years, others wanted to ask what misconceptions people have about Hooksett,” he said.

Town Council Chair James Sullivan said disagreement between councilors on some survey questions does not mean there is discord. He added that he understands why both questions are important to ask, but that in the end only one can be chosen.

“I believe it’s been a good process putting the survey together and the whole workshop allowed us to discuss it without being too formal,” Sullivan said.

Sullivan said the survey’s results, would give the town council a good idea of what is important and not important to residents.

“We just want to clarify what residents’ views of the towns are,” Sullivan said.

Shankle said that while the workshop failed to bring a resolution to the open-ended question, he expects the the survey will be taken up at the next Town Council Meeting on Aug. 14.

“We will have a more fine-tuned survey at the end of the next meeting,” Sullivan said.

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