A majority of Davis County residents would favor county financial support for a recreation center but would disapprove of county involvement in a third golf course, according to a poll conducted by Dan Jones & Associates.
A Dec. 5-10 survey of 400 Davis County residents found 66 percent definitely would or probably would support a county recreation center, while only 12 percent said they definitely would not support a center.The poll, with an error margin of plus or minus 5 percent, showed 80 percent of county residents probably would not or definitely would not approve of a third county financed golf course. Only 7 percent said the county definitely should be involved.
Clearfield residents voted more than 2-1 against a $6.9 million general obligation bond last month for the construction of a city recreation center.
Tracy Heun, Clearfield recreation director, said she isn't surprised by the results of the Dan Jones poll.
"Clearfield residents are very conservative . . . People outside of Clearfield may have more insight to the values of a recreation complex," she said.
Heun also agreed that once definite tax increase numbers are revealed for such a project, some people who have previously said they would support a recreation center would vote against it. Indeed, Heun's own survey of hundreds of city residents three years ago found 80 percent favoring a recreation center.
Heun said some people say Clearfield has too many older citizens who would not benefit from a recreation center, hence the plan's defeat. However, she said Clearfield's average age is 23.
"There's more older than younger," she said. "But older people do vote more."
Jack Bippes, Clearfield city manager, agreed with Heun that city residents tend to be conservative. He said he wasn't surprised by the new poll results either.
Dean Allen, parks and recreation supervisor for nearby Layton, said he was pleased to hear a portion of a population sees the values of a recreation center. He said there's probably not currently a mechanism in the county for creating a recreation center, though.
A joint proposal between Davis County and a private developer to build a third county-owned golf course in Syracuse was called off last October by the County Commission because of reservations about the county competing against private business.
Ernie Schneiter, who owns and operates the Riverside Golf Course in Weber County and who is opening his new Bluff Golf Course in West Point next March, was against the county course for the same reason.
"I think that really pleases me that people feel that way," Schneiter said of the Dan Jones poll results on Davis County golf courses.
He said if private enterprise can provide a needed service, government should stay out of it.
Scott Starkey, who owns and manages the new Swan Lakes Golf Course in West Layton that opened earlier this year, also opposed the third county golf course proposal.
"It doesn't surprise me at all," he said in response to the poll, explaining he thinks his, Schneiter's and the other new courses will add enough new courses to the county for now.
Allen and Heun, both avid golfers, also were not surprised by the golf poll results but noted having trouble getting on Davis County courses this past summer.
Davis County poll
The County Commission recently turned down a proposal to build a third golf course, which was to be part of a public/private venture in Syracuse. Do you think Davis County needs to have a third county-financed course.
DEFINITELY SHOULD 7%
PROBABLY SHOULD 10%
PROBABLY SHOULD NOT 21%
DEFINITELY SHOULD NOT 59%
DON'T KNOW 4%
In your opinion, should Davis County give financial support to a county recreation center?
DEFINITELY SHOULD 23%
PROBABLY SHOULD 43%
PROBABLY SHOULD NOT 18%
DEFINITELY SHOULD NOT 12%
DON'T KNOW 5%
Poll conducted Dec. 5-10, 1994. Margin of error +/-5% on interviews of 400 registered voters. Conducted by Dan Jones & Associates. Copyright 1994 Deseret News. Dan Jones & Associates, an independent organization founded in 1980, polls for the Deseret News and KSL. Its clients include other organizations and some political candidates.