Thursday, September 1, 2011

Adams County Voters Very Concerned About Corruption in County Government – Favor Reforms

In a recent Ciruli Associates survey, Adams County voters are very concerned (84%) about corruption in Adams County government and strongly support reforms that were enacted this spring by Adams County Commissioners. When asked about specific reforms, voters gave strong support to an independent audit (80%), prohibiting officials and employees from doing business with county contractors (80%), and strict procedures for acquiring property from county officials and employees (72%).

The survey of 550 likely Adams County voters from August 15 to 18, 2011. The Adams County Board of Commissioners sponsored the survey. The poll had a margin of error of plus or minus 4.2 percentage points. The Adams County Board of Commissioners paid $23,000 for the survey, which polled 550 likely voters. Full Survey Click Here...

Adams County voters, like citizens throughout the country, are concerned about the economy. But, Adams County voters are concerned about corruption and ethics in local offices and expressed a desire to deal with it. Adams County government in general had a positive 8 favorability rating, but a few county offices were given very low ratings, and one, the Assessor’s Office, received a net negative rating.

Voters were very supportive of most of the reforms implemented thus far to deal with corruption and/or the appearance of corruption, but some skepticism remains that follow-up and enforcement will continue.

Of the two major structural reforms available to counties, local voters had mixed views. The public is closely divided on the question of adding two county commissioners to the current three. Of the nearly one-half who said they favored it, about one-quarter were strongly in favor. However, a similar amount were strongly against.

Voters were less supportive of the concept of a Home Rule Charter, along with the host of possible changes it might entail and the need to authorize a charter commission. The concept drew more passion against than in favor from the voters.

In general, voters support current reforms and want follow-up, and the next election for county offices will likely see some change in political officeholders based on the corruption issue.

In the recent past the Gateway News also did a survey on what people thought of changing the Adams County Commissioners from 3 to 5. Our survey also resulted in a almost 50/50 split of favor and opposition.