Batesville Herald Tribune, Batesville, Indiana

August 3, 2010

Survey can provide insight

The Herald-Tribune

--- — Dear Editor, Your July 27 “Who Are We” supplement to The Herald-Tribune had some interesting statistics about the communities we live in. While most of the results from this informal survey were positive, there were some negative trends that I think the community leaders need to address. From a positive viewpoint, education seemed to receive high scores, but there was some drop-off in the quality of education for the higher grades. The survey results did indicate the quality of education has improved along with the extracurricular activities available to students. The survey results stated our communities were good places to live, and the residents took pride in their places of residence. Most respondents expect to be living in their community in the near future. The high positive score for recycling was good because it portrays an image of concern for the environment. Respondents thought there was enough suitable housing, which might be a negative for home builders. Areas of concern from my personal observation were 93 percent thought drugs were a problem; alcohol use is a problem with 79 percent responding yes. The negative trends for drug and alcohol use are certainly challenges for community leaders with no simple solutions. In some instances, education and awareness on a regular basis will bring about some change, but not totally solve the issue. Eighty percent of the younger residents do not have an interest in locating in our communities after completing higher education. The high negative response seems to me that the group overall does not see enough opportunities for good-paying careers and advancement. Finally, use of health care is almost an even split. Residents are forgoing health care due to the high cost. This could be related to the recession we are still in and the high unemployment rate. While this survey was informal and not statistically based, it does provide valuable insight to community leaders to focus their efforts for improvement. Lawrence Merkel, Batesville