Straw poll: Prawer-Gill annexation

We received this email from Nathan Yaffe, Carleton College student:

Nathan YaffeAs part of my Environmental Economics and Policy class, we’re conducting research on the different stakeholders relevant to the annexation issue.

Our end product will be a public poster presentation on Monday, March 15 from 8:30-11 in the Great Hall at Carleton… My group is conducting a survey to determine public attitudes about the annexation.

PF-survey-sshotOur questions came from a Ward 3 exit poll conducted by Erica Zweifel, who graciously agreed to share her poll results with us, but we’re hoping to collect more data.

Ultimately, the hope is for this to benefit the community, because our presentation will be attended by individuals involved in the decision-making process concerning this annexation.

Take the Prawer-Gill annexation straw poll.


  1. Erica Zweifel said:

    Just a point of clarification, the exit survey from my ward meeting was entirely the creation of St Olaf students, I cannot take any credit. Thank you to everyone who participated in the ward meeting.

    March 8, 2010
  2. Jane Moline said:

    I cannot complete the poll becasue I am “other” on the first question and there is no box to check. Get back to survey monkey and fix this!

    March 8, 2010
  3. Griff Wigley said:

    Jane, there’s no radio button to check but there’s a box to fill in. So just type in “Dundas resident” or “left field” or whatever in the box and proceed.

    March 8, 2010
  4. Jane Moline said:

    Did that, Griff. Tells me that I don’t have the answer complete…

    March 9, 2010
  5. Jane Moline said:

    Maybe it is rejecting my answer “Dundas”–are you guys setting me up?

    March 9, 2010
  6. Griff Wigley said:

    No, we’re not setting you up, Jane.

    I just tried it and you’re right… they’ve not set up the form correctly.

    I’ve alerted Nathan about the problem. Thanks!

    March 9, 2010
  7. Stephanie Henriksen said:

    I did the survey, reluctantly, because some questions did not suit the situation. Now, the survey won’t let me back in to review the six questions. Would you recall the wording?

    I was surprised to hear there was an “exit poll” at Erica’s Ward meeting. When I saw the student publicity listing all the “big wigs” from Northfield that were invited, I did wonder if anyone would be there from the township. The terms of our 20-yr annexation agreement w/Nfld is the crux of the matter. That is the main source of controversy.

    The students then did include one of our supervisors as resource person. I regret I could not be there to see how it went.

    I am happy to see interest in this topic has spread to Carleton. I look forward to a fair and balanced airing of the issues at the “poster” presentation at Great Hall Monday morning (?). I hope they have someone taping it.

    March 10, 2010
  8. Nathan Yaffe said:

    No anti-Dundas bias, I promise!

    The bug has been fixed. I emailed Griff indicating as much, but I should have made sure a comment got up in this forum earlier. Thanks for the catch, and sorry for the glitch… Apparently the notion that we Millennials are tech-savvy can’t be universally applied!

    Thanks again to all who have participated in the survey so far. Also, if you’re free on Monday the 15th between 8:30 and 11, please do consider dropping by Carleton’s Great Hall for our poster session.

    March 10, 2010
  9. Griff Wigley said:

    Hi Nathan, thanks for chiming in… and for trying twice yesterday!

    I checked early this morning and didn’t see anything in the queue but now I see that you did submit two comments yesterday afternoon.

    So it appears to be a glitch either with the technology or with the software between my ears. Either way, my apologies… and I’m glad to hear all’s fixed with the survey.

    Jane, give it a whirl!

    March 10, 2010
  10. Nathan Yaffe said:

    Also, in re: Stephanie’s question about the wording… We took the wording and questions directly from the exit poll (so that we could combine results, for the sake of having the highest number of responses). As for criticisms of the survey: keep in mind it was not designed by Erica Zweifel, but by students of hers.

    The questions were as follows:

    With 1 being “Not at all Important,” and 5 being “Very Important,” how important do you think the following issues are in considering the Prawer-Gill Annexation?

    -Protecting Natural Habitat

    -Growing Northfield’s Tax Base

    -Fill in/Redevelop existing space in Northfield before developing outlying areas

    -Preserving Open Space

    -Jobs and Economic Growth

    -Opportunities for college students and faculty (research, service projects, etc.)

    Hope this helps!

    March 10, 2010
  11. Jane Moline said:

    I am for all of it. I want to preserve open space, natural habitat, use fill-in, create jobs and expand the tax base. I guess that is why we should plan.

    March 10, 2010
  12. Stephanie Henriksen said:

    I keep reminding people this is not an “either/or” question. The 20-yr annexation agreement we have w/Nfld allows taking of the eastern half (Sec. 2), but not the western half. No township resident I’ve spoken to, other than Gill and Prawer and a certain former supervisor, favors opening up such a large area to start out. If Northfield handles the eastern half well, let them come back for more later.

    As a township, we have nothing to gain and a lot to lose by releasing more land than necessary to Northfield. Mayor Rossing and others on the Council like to say the land will be better protected as part of the City. I beg to differ. Our township has its own planning and zoning and the area is subject to that. Our supervisors are actively engaged in protecting the natural resources, etc. The land is in very good hands.

    March 12, 2010
  13. Jane Moline said:


    I am puzzled by this “need” for so much land–I think it has a lot more to do with power and control than what is really needed. I would really like to see joint meetings between the city and the township to plan what is the best use–and how annexation should proceed.

    Nobody seems to want to address that NOT developing a lot of this land is the best use–which means developing only part will be very expensive.

    March 12, 2010
  14. Griff Wigley said:

    The public poster presentation is today, 8:30-11 in the Great Hall at Carleton.

    March 15, 2010
  15. Griff Wigley said:

    Sat. Nfld News: Council tackles township annexation issues

    Last month, the council gave preliminary approval to the proposed annexation of 456 acres of land from Bridgewater Township.

    If the agreement is revised, it should include shared responsibility between the township and the city for road maintenance within the annexed area and a series of tax reimbursement payments to the township that would terminate after several years.

    At their Tuesday work session, council members also agreed that the city should be responsible for implementing a plan to protect two environmentally sensitive streams in the area, but felt that stream regulation shouldn’t be included as a term of the agreement.

    March 15, 2010
  16. kiffi summa said:

    I was only able to attend the last hour of the Carleton student presentation, but they have delved deeper into both the issues and the analysis than any of our city agencies have done.

    Hooray for the students!

    I sincerely hope they will make a packet of all their study segments/posters ( not what you usually think of as posters; more like big info sheets) and forward them to the EDA for their perusal.
    The work of these students is as good a basis, no.. a better basis… for THOROUGH discussion as any that has previously been provided.

    Again, Hooray for the students!

    March 16, 2010
  17. Stephanie Henriksen said:

    I, too, commend the students for their effort. They had worked in teams on the various stakeholder topics. Presentations started at 9 am and continued, with a couple breaks, for more than two hours.

    It became clear from audience questions that some of the conclusions were not well substantiated. Kiffi came in time to clarify how property tax rates are set by the county. I wish she’d been there earlier to fill in some other gaps.

    The theme of the day could be summed up in a quote from Mary Savina on one of the boards. Something to the effect that an industrial park would be an appropriate use with environmental safeguards in place. EDA and City Council will be pleased.

    Having worked in the area of environmental review for the past 15 years and seeing large development projects of all sorts negatively impacting communities, I do not have the confidence in compliance or enforcement that others may have.

    What I will remember most from the event is a question from a township resident who came to watch the final presentation featuring Chamber of Commerce. She said they were missing the beauty of the area, the value of open space to those who live there. Did that not count for something?

    March 16, 2010
  18. kiffi summa said:

    In the packet for this morning’s EDA meeting a few of the project posters/information boards from the Carleton class were included in the packet for the meeting… but only 6 of them… and there were a dozen or more. Mr. Gunderson said that Rick Estenson ( former EDA Pres.) had asked for them to be included.

    Great that some of them were there; Better if all had been included… as then they would have been accessible to the general public through accessing the meeting packet.

    March 25, 2010
  19. Tracy Davis said:

    Kiffi, I think both Rick and I have asked Prof. Aaron Swoboda for PDFs of the student presentation; I can only assume that he hasn’t gotten them all from the student groups at this point.

    March 26, 2010

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