For all you procrastinators and deadline junkies: Time’s just about up!

The first phase of the Foothills Forum Survey wraps up tomorrow.

Friday is the last day you can make your voice heard by filling out and returning the survey postmarked by Dec. 11. Send your completed survey in the self-addressed stamped envelope to our partners at the University of Virginia’s Center for Survey Research (CSR).

Though we’re far from done, we offer a preliminary and heartfelt thank you.

Since late October, every household and business with a valid address in Rappahannock has had two chances to participate and join other residents in answering the professionally designed questionnaire.

You, the citizens of Rappahannock County, have stepped up.

The survey pros have been tracking responses week by week with growing appreciation for the many, many Rappahannock residents who chose to be part of something fair and inclusive. They are describing it as a “good, strong” response rate and even slipped in “thrilled.”

They shared their sentiments even before receiving the bulk of completed surveys from the second mailing sent to those who had not yet responded. That bodes well.

We heard a smattering of comments about receiving a second mailing even after a household had sent theirs in. CSR’s answer: They constantly receive returned surveys even as they update the second mailing list. Besides, duplicates don’t matter, since it’s one-response-per-address.

With the final responses in hand — too soon to know what the final number will be — they’ll start working to tabulate the findings and produce preliminary results next month.

Their experience suggests that what you collectively expressed about Rappahannock will help a great many. The findings could well be useful to government, businesses, nonprofits and citizens. The findings will provide a baseline and guide the resulting research and reporting based on a media agreement with Rappahannock Media, owners of the Rappahannock News.

Not everyone shares a belief in the long-term benefit of an omnibus survey like this. Suspicion of new things like community-supported research and reporting isn’t exactly new around here. It’s one more expression of the Rappahannock Life.

Count on this: The numbers will speak for themselves.


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