Frequently Asked Questions about the National Citizen Survey

Submitted by Suanne Z. Thamm
Reporter – News Analyst
May 7, 2019 10:00 a.m.

Fernandina Beach City Manager Dale Martin reports that today advance notice postcards were mailed to those households targeted to receive the 2019 National Citizen Survey.

The following questions and answers have been provided by the National Citizen Survey to help people better understand the survey and the process.

  How did you get my address?
Your address was sampled at random from a list of all addresses from the post office. This is a standard service offered by the post office. It is not a city government file and no household member is named in the file.

  I received your survey, and while I own the property that it was sent to, I don’t live there. What should I do?
The resident of the property should complete the survey.

  What is the purpose of requesting the person who most recently had a birthday complete the survey?
We have randomly selected households within our jurisdiction to receive the survey. We would also like to choose in an unbiased way a person within each household to complete the survey. This way we ensure the results are representative of our community as a whole. While it may seem a bit strange, using the “birthday method”is a simple way to select an adult from within each household without permitting bias in our results.

  I am the person in my household who most recently had a birthday, but I am not very informed about the issues covered in the survey. Can I give the survey to someone else in my household who is more informed?
We would prefer that you complete the survey. The “birthday method” described in the letter creates the most representative sample of our jurisdiction. You’ll be surprised at how much you can contribute.

  I doubt that you are interested in my opinion, since I rarely leave my [nursing] home. Should I really complete the survey?
Yes, the government is here to serve all residents, and it is important to us that we get feedback from a complete cross-section of our residents.

  If I filled out the survey when I first received it, should I fill it out again now that I have received a second copy?
No, please don’t fill it out again. Because responses are anonymous, we don’t know who already completed a survey. Since we only want one response from each person, those who already sent in a survey should not return another one. The second copy is distributed as a reminder to all people selected to be sent a survey. Thank you for completing the first survey.

  I was not sent a survey, but I would be happy to complete one, and I think you should be interested in my opinion.
The sample was designed to be as representative as possible of the population of our city, so by sending copies of the survey to people who request a copy, we would skew the sample and make the results less meaningful.

  Why is “Hispanic” separate from “Race”?
We want to compare the demographic profile of those responding to the demographic profile of the municipality as presented by the Census. In order to be able to do this we asked our race and ethnicity question the same way the Census does. The census designates Hispanic as an ethnicity, not a race.