South Jordan has approved details of an agreement with a public-opinion research and analysis firm to gather data and create a community outreach program on the future of the 67-acre Mulligans Golf and Game Complex near the Jordan River.
Council members voted 4-1 to contract with Y2 Analytics to do the work, including conducting focus groups and an online survey.
"We need to find out what people really want to do, so they know and understand what it’s going to cost them," said Councilman Chuck Newton. He said that scientific public-opinion surveys are "pretty darn accurate" and he wants to make sure the community is involved in the decision-making process.
Councilman Chris Rogers said he regards the public’s input as being important but added he "want[s] to make sure that the survey is unbiased so we get a very clear picture of what the residents, in a scientific way, feel about the issue."
A neighbor to the current golf course, Deanna Kaufman, who wants to save and keep Mulligans Golf Course, fears the survey may not adequately reflect the public’s view of what the future of Mulligans should be. "They say it’s a scientific survey, and there’s nothing scientific about it," Kaufman said.
The council also heard from Scott Whittaker, executive director of the Utah section of the Professional Golfers’ Association of America, to discuss the sustainability of Mulligans as a golf course.
Whittaker and the Golf Alliance of Utah have offered their services free to the city. The group, he said, "would like to be proactive, offer our help, and do whatever we can to help improve the recreational aspect of Mulligans, or in fact, help you look at and decide whether this is, in fact, the way that you want to go."
Using data it has accumulated on Utah’s golf market, the group could help evaluate the future prospects of Mulligans, he said.
Y2 Analytics researcher and partner Kelly Patterson, along with Scott Riding, executive vice president, said the company would use focus groups and surveys targeting registered voters in South Jordan to gauge the public’s knowledge of issues surrounding Mulligans and views of what should be done.
Mayor Dave Alvord asked if Y2 Analytics had been pressured to produce any kind of outcome from its research, and both company executives assured that it had not.
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