As we reported Monday, the NWCCD Board of Trustees voted to put a tax measure on the ballot in Sheridan County to support renovation and expansion of the tech center at Sheridan College. Sheridan Media's Chris Foy has more on the key findings from a recently completed public opinion survey regarding the bond issue.
Lori Weigel with Public Opinion Strategies presented a summary of the results from that poll at Monday's special board meeting of the Northern Wyoming Community College District. Weigel said her firm conducted a survey of 300 likely voters in Sheridan County to get a better understanding of where public opinion rests on supporting Sheridan College's placement of the item on the ballot.
Respondents were asked if the NWCCD should be authorized to issue general obligation bonds in a maximum amount of $15.85 million for the purpose of paying for the construction, furnishing, equipping and improving of existing property as it relates to the renovation and expansion of the Technical Education Center at Sheridan College.
Three-in-five voters indicated their support for the measure, while one-in-three said they would vote no. When broken down further, 32 percent of respondents said they would definitely vote yes, while 21 percent said they would definitely vote no.
And when broken down into demographic sub-groups, 65 percent of men said they'd vote yes compared to 55 percent of women who indicated they'd vote the same way. More Democrats indicated support for the measure compared to Republicans and Independents, but only by a margin of between 11 and 15 percent respectively.
Households who had not attended Sheridan College were more likely to vote yes, 64 percent, compared to 58 percent who said yes but had not actually attended the college. In those that said they'd vote yes, 61 percent were long-term residents while 60 percent were newer residents.
Respondents also assigned overall letter grades to Sheridan College. Weigel said 65 percent of participants in the survey gave the college either an "A" or "B" grade, while only three percent gave either a "D" or "F" grade. She said Monday night that based on these results, support for the measure is grounded in positive perceptions of Sheridan College - and that strong ties to the college are present within the county.
Weigel said that though the measure is well-positioned to move forward based on the completed poll, it is by no means a guarantee of its success. The item will appear on the ballot during a special election this August.