Press-Republican

Environment

December 30, 2013

Poll results: Unemployment, jobs, resort development key

TUPPER LAKE — A public opinion poll found regional unemployment levels chief among Adirondack Park economic concerns.

Conducted for the ADK Works Campaign, a nonprofit effort supporting regional business growth, the recently released results showed job creation, unemployment and economic stimulus rank individually as key issues.

Questions were posed to 300 residents in Essex and Franklin counties last September by Diversified Research Inc., based in Albany.

The survey also included some very specific questions on the proposed Adirondack Club and Resort project in Tupper Lake.

At Diversified Research, Public Affairs Supervisor Saleem Cheeks said questions were posed to those who voted in one of the last two general elections or who are newly registered since 2010.

BASE ECONOMICS

The questions focused on economic drivers.

Nearly 32 percent of respondents said unemployment and jobs are the biggest issues their community face. Individual answers crossed a wide range of concerns, among them water quality, welfare, higher wages, housing, global warming, terrorism, gun control and health care.

The second largest group, at 11.7 percent of the total, said taxes are too high. And 7.3 percent said the economy is the biggest concern.

Development of the Adirondack Club and Resort was the fourth biggest concern at 4.7 percent.

And 11 percent said they “don’t know.”

RESORT VIEWS

Pursuing public views of the Club and Resort development, the survey first asked whether respondents knew key players involved in ongoing public discussions. 

The survey asked if respondents knew or had heard of Jim LaValley, who helped coordinate ADK Works outreach; or Tom Lawson, one of the Club and Resort project’s financiers. Questions tallied whether people surveyed were familiar with the Sierra Club, a national environmental group that has sued to stop the project; or Protect the Adirondacks, an Adirondack Park-based environmental group involved in litigation.

The survey showed 44.3 percent of respondents had a favorable opinion of Protect, with a similar number — 43.7 percent — holding a favorable opinion of the Sierra Club.

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