Poll shows support for outsourcing

Not long after city workers union poll shows opposition to layoffs, taxpayers group poll shows residents favor some changes.

April 22, 2011|By Sarah Peters,

*Correction: An earlier version of this story reported results from "a majority of residents." The sampling was only of registered voters.

COSTA MESA — A majority of registered voters are concerned about city spending and believe that some services should be outsourced to the private sector, according to a poll conducted on behalf of the Costa Mesa Taxpayers Assn.

The poll's results, which were released this week by the nonpartisan but conservative-leaning residents' group, came weeks after the results of a separate poll paid for by the Orange County Employees Assn. (OCEA), which reported that residents opposed a cost-saving plan to lay off 213 city workers.


According to the Costa Mesa Taxpayers Assn. (CMTA) poll results, about 68% of respondents said yes when asked, "Do you believe the city should look at all of its options to solve the budget crisis, including outsourcing some of its services to the private sector?" Thirty-two percent replied no.

CMTA called OCEA's survey a "push poll," meaning those asking the questions were trying to influence the outcome, and criticized the number of households surveyed in that poll. Union members made the same allegations Wednesday about the quality and reliability of the Taxpayers Assn. survey.

The CMTA poll was conducted between April 11-14 by Fountain Valley-based Polling Strategies and surveyed 854 households. It was said to have a margin of error of plus or minus 4%.

The poll done for OCEA surveyed 400 households, according to a CMTA news release.

OCEA's poll, conducted by San Francisco-based Tulchin Research, was "real" and "scientific," said Nick Berardino, the association's general manager.

He pointed to the CMTA as the push poll of the two and criticized the methods employed by Polling Strategies. He also questioned the experience of the local pollster when compared with Tulchin, which does polls for Democratic candidates, labor and environmental organizations.

"I stand behind the numbers, and I'll let them show me their polling numbers that show them differently," Tulchin's company president, Ben Tulchin, told the Daily Pilot earlier this month.

CMTA also stood by its results.

"When we saw another organization come out and slander the mayor, we thought it was wrong," CMTA co-founder Ethan Temianka said. "It's distracting from the facts. This is not a Democrat issue or a Republican issue. This is about being open and honest about the numbers."

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