Cruise ship survey begins to take shape

BAR HARBOR This week, the Bar Harbor Town Council consulted with survey creators from Portland-based company Pan Atlantic Research about drafting a survey that would seek engagement from citizens about cruise ships. 

Patrick Murphy and Jason Edes from Pan Atlantic attended Tuesday night’s meeting to speak with council members and to get a better idea as to what information they wanted to learn from the survey.  

A draft is currently being generated and will be made available to residents and business owners in a variety of formats in the coming weeks 

Before talking specifically about content, council members asked questions about methodology. They voiced concern about how surveys would be mailed—to a household or to individual voters—noting that there very well could be differing opinions about cruise ship impact within a household. Murphy, the founder and president of the research company, explained that the potential participation of people who are not entitled to take the survey is a problem that the company will address before the survey is launched 

The idea of sending mailed surveys to individual voters based on voter rolls was something that Town Clerk Sharon Linscott said they were not able to do. “There are specific reasons that you can request the voter roll and a survey would not be a permitted use,” she said. “It can only be accessed for election-related activity.” 

As they entered into discussion about specifics, council members were quick to say they wanted to create a community conversation and did not want to inject any bias into the process. “We want to be open to all possibilities, said Town Councilor Val Peacock. 

“We need to be mindful of the [overall] cruise ship impact,” said Town Councilor Jill Goldthwait, adding that the fishing community tends to get buried in the congestion of the cruise ships. “We lose a big piece of culturally important activity,” she said. 

“There are cultural activities that get impacted as well by the dominance of cruise ships and we will definitely include that in the survey,” said Edes. 

Murphy said he and Edes would get to work and present a draft to the council soon. “We are on a pretty tight deadline and we do ask you to respond very quickly to us,” he said.  

Ninah Rein

Ninah Rein

Writer at Mount Desert Islander
Ninah Rein, an MDI native, covers news and features in the Bar Harbor area. She is glad to be back in Maine after earning a bachelor's degree in San Diego from the University of California.
Ninah Rein

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