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Q: The Cedar Falls School Board recently commissioned a poll relative to the new high school they are contemplating. What was the sampling process used in that, and how many people were contacted?

A: Cedar Falls Community Schools’ officials noted it’s difficult to say the number that were contacted since the district issued a news release that was shared on social media and the district website. It also was on public access Channel 15, discussed at Board of Education meetings and sent via email to more than 8,000 email addresses. The survey received a total of 1,724 responses. According to the Donovan Group, which conducted the survey, it “represents a convenience sample, rather than a scientific sample. Because we used a convenience sample, it would be methodologically inappropriate to carry out a regression analysis or attempt to calculate error. Our response pool to date is a solid one that provides sound data to the board.” However, the results should be treated as qualitative data that is similar to data from a large number of focus groups.

Q: How many times has Steve Schmitt voted against the final budget in his years on the council?

A: Waterloo City Councilman Steve Schmitt voted in favor of one of the 12 city budgets adopted during his time in office so far.

Q: From Parker to Donald, who is responsible for clearing out the trails on Highway 63? Is it the property owners?

A: On the west side of U.S. Highway 63, Waterloo Leisure Services clears the trail from Parker Street to Dale Street. On the east side of U.S. 63 Leisure Services clears from Parker to the Dollar Tree property line. From Dollar Tree north all the way to Donald Street it is the responsibility of the adjacent property owner to clear the standard width sidewalk.

Q: I see people panhandling at the corner of San Marnan and Flammang almost on a daily basis. Is it true panhandling is illegal or not allowed in the city of Waterloo?

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A: Panhandling is not illegal in Waterloo.

Q: Has the city of Waterloo ever considered privatizing garbage and the street department?

A: There were discussions about 30 years ago about potentially outsourcing garbage collection services and there are current discussions about privatizing the curbside recycling collection. We are not aware of the city ever discussing outsourcing the street department.

Q: It’s 5:35 p.m. Monday and I’ve noticed over the last several years the council meeting regularly starts late. Is there a particular reason or who are they waiting for?

A: The March 11 meeting started a few hours late due to some technical difficulties.

Calls are taken on a special Courier phone line at 234-3566. Questions are answered by Courier staff and staff at the Waterloo Public Library.

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