Survey results released today show that a majority of survey respondents, both residents and elected officials of Kent County, Michigan, support sharing services such as police, fire and public works among governments, but there is no majority for sharing assessment of property values or tax collection. Majorities support informal cooperation, formal contracts and combining agencies, but a supermajority of responding elected officials and a near-majority of responding residents oppose merging governments into larger units.
Not long before he passed away in 2010, then-director of CSR Dr. Jim Penning was inspired and agitated by an article in the Grand Rapids
This morning, I had the privilege of bringing Jim’s work to fruition by pinch-hitting for CRI staff in presenting recent survey results to the board of the Grand Valley Metropolitan Council. GVMC is an august gathering of mayors and other local officials from Kent County and several other West Michigan counties. An important vehicle for cooperation among local governments, GVMC co-sponsored the survey project, with grant funding from the Frey Foundation. GVMC provided a list of elected officials for a mail survey parallel to GGRCS. Today’s presentation juxtaposed these two surveys to compare the opinions of residents and elected officials. The event was covered by Calvin grad Matt Vande Bunte of the Grand Rapids
Here are two key charts from the end of the presentation that summarize the findings.
Janel Curry is the newly-appointed Provost of Gordon College and conducted this research in her role as the Gary and Henrietta Byker Chair in Christian Perspectives on Political, Social and Economic Thought. Scott Rodin is currently partner for strategic alliances at Artios Partners. At the time of writing, both Curry and Rodin were associated with the not-for-profit practice of the One Accord consulting group.
As summarized in the article abstract, “Our research suggests that macroeconomic conditions, the number of development staff, and the size of development budget do not predict [fundraising] performance. Performance is related to a transformational approach to development work built on a compelling vision that is communicated clearly.”
Melissa Lubbers, a senior Psychology major, interned with us during the spring and now joins the research assistant team.
Leah Hoogstra, a senior with a double major in Mathematics and International Development, started working with us during second semester.
Shawntavia Stewart is a sophomore and in a pre-med program with concentrations in Public Health and Bio-Chemistry.
Michael Kelly will be a junior this fall and is studying Psychology.
We appreciate the wide skill set (and the phenomenal personalities) this new group brings to CSR.
CSR has welcomed our new staff and student team and begun a summer-long training program. We'll be working with our team almost every Friday from 8:30 to 12:00, and Calvin faculty and staff and some of our off-campus clients are invited to ride along if you're interested.
The schedule is subject to change, but here are the topics we're going to cover:
|Friday 5/25||1||Orientation - internal only||DeVos 110|
|Friday 6/1||2||Microsoft Word and print survey reformatting||DeVos 110|
|Friday 6/8||3||Inquisite Survey Software||DeVos 110|
|Friday 6/22||4||Databases 101 and Microsoft Excel||Hekman 122|
|Friday 6/29||5||Microsoft Access||Hekman 122|
|Friday 7/6||6||Intuit QuickBase||Hekman 122|
|Friday 7/20||7||Qualitative Data/Research||DeVos 110|
|Friday 7/27||8||Tableau I||DeVos 110|
|Friday 8/3||9||Tableau II||DeVos 110|
|Friday 8/17||10||ArcGIS||DeVos 110|
|Friday 8/31||11||Stata/SPSS||DeVos 110|
Contact us by email if you're interested and we'll send you a file that will help you to register for specific weeks.
It’s never easy to say goodbye to our departing staff and students, but the end of the academic year brings its usual season of change to CSR. Several students and a staff member are moving on to grad school or full-time jobs.
• Nathan Mosurinjohn (Graduate Research Specialist) – After graduating from Calvin College in 2009 with a B.A. in Geography and International Development, Nathan joined the staff at CSR as a Research Specialist. At the end of summer, Nathan and his wife Shelly will head to the west coast while Nathan pursues his Masters of Science in Geography at the University of Oregon.
• Kelsey McCallops (Student Research Assistant) – Kelsey’s been with CSR since her sophomore year. She is leaving us with a B.A. in Psychology and is landing at Ohio University where she will enter a Doctorate of Physical Therapy program. Kelsey begins her studies at OU as a Graduate Assistant.
• Tony Ditta (Student Research Assistant) – Tony has also been working at the CSR since his sophomore year. He graduates with a B.A. in Economics and is moving to Chicago for a research position at the University of Chicago.
• Traci Montgomery (Student Research Assistant) – Traci will be graduating from Calvin with a B.S. in Mathematics and Geography, after which she will transition into a full time staff position at the CSR as a Graduate Research Assistant. Traci’s summer includes a six week break to attend a summer program on sustainable development at UC Berkeley.
• Kristen Napp (Student Research Assistant) – Kristen worked for CSR this past year, and after graduating with a BSW, she joins us full time on staff as a Graduate Research Assistant.
• Mitchell Uitvlugt (Psychology intern) – Mitchell interned with us from the psychology department this past semester. He will be starting a research assistant position in the Laboratory for Cognitive & Decision Sciences as well as in the Cognitive Control Neurolab, both at Michigan State University.
Thanks to all of you for your great work at the Center for Social Research during your tenure with us. You’ve been an integral part of our team and we will miss you. We wish all of our departing staff and students the best in their new endeavors! Don’t forget to stay in touch with us.