Thursday, December 18, 2014
YOLO COUNTY NEWS
99 CENTS

Bob Dunning: Is $100 worth filling out this survey?

BobDunning2W

By
From page A2 | May 02, 2013 |

No, it’s not Powerball, but the city we all love is offering a chance to win serious money to anyone willing to fill out the intensive and extensive “City of Davis 2013 Residential Water Use Survey” that arrived in most of our mailboxes one day last month. Unfortunately,

I didn’t get around to reading it until yesterday, so maybe the contest is already over and I’m no longer eligible to win the top prize.
The survey, which runs to four full pages and involves several dozen detailed questions, is costing the city in excess of $100,000 – or about the cost of your average East Davis starter home with indoor plumbing.

Although it is a seemingly mindless multiple-choice survey, some of the questions have as many as 10 possible answers, which is why the city is offering the chance at big money so people don’t get bogged down halfway through and give up the ghost.

If you have most of a Sunday afternoon to fill this thing out, have at it, but if you don’t, not to worry. It just means I’ll have a better chance to take home the bacon.

OK, enough talk about money. Here’s the deal. If you respond to the survey — again, I don’t know if the deadline has passed — you’ll be “entered into a drawing for $100,” or about what your monthly water bill will look like in a couple of years.

“Complete and return this paper survey in the provided envelope,” the city advises, “or better yet, respond online and we’ll double your chances of drawing the $100.”

I think I’d rather have one chance at $200 than two chances at $100, but either way this seems incredibly unfair to those citizens who are technologically challenged and still do all their corresponding using paper, pen, envelope and a 46-cent stamp.

“If you’re short on time, please answer just the first four questions,” the city adds, without revealing whether or not filling out just the first four questions will still qualify you for the big cash prize.

No matter, because as a civic-minded individual who could use a 100-item shopping spree at the Dollar Tree, I plan to fill out every question available in triplicate.

But first, the city promises on a stack of Bibles that “All information you provide will be confidential.”

Unless Mr. Goofy Gadfly files a freedom of information lawsuit and demands all correspondence between you and the city of Davis. Then you’re toast.

“Do you water your yard?” the city wants to know. The choices are simple: “1. Yes, year-round; 2. Yes, but not in winter; 3. No, I don’t have a yard; 4. No, I don’t water my yard; 5. Yes, unpredictably.”

I think No. 5 fits me best. Sometimes you’ll catch me in the back yard at 3 in the morning, watering everything by hand. I especially like to water the yard in the middle of a thunderstorm. I find it’s best to keep the lawn guessing.

“In summer, approximately how many gallons of water per day would you guess your household uses?”

Now wait a minute, you’re the ones who hired that guy who rides around on his bicycle reading my water meter every other month with his magic wand. Why don’t you ask him? He certainly knows much more about my daily water usage than I do.

“To what extent do you agree or disagree that the City of Davis makes it easy for you to save money on your water bill?”

You’re kidding, right? Are you truly not aware that the City Council just unanimously instituted a water rate so complicated that even Bill Gates’ attorney can’t figure it out?

“Do you agree or disagree with the following statements — I’m interested in spending less on my water bills.”

Um, well, actually I’m interested in spending more on my water bills to help the city pay off that massive $113 million water project.

“How many toilets do you have in your home?”

Working toilets or just toilets?

“Of these toilets, how many use 1.6 gallons of water per flush (gpf) or less?”

Now you’re getting personal. My gpf is an intensely private matter between me, my God and my parish priest. The city has no business sticking its nose into my toilet.

“How do you water your yard: 1. Timer-based irrigation controller; 2. Manual sprinkler system; 3. Overhead sprinklers; 4. Hand-held hose; 5. Weather-based irrigation controller; 6. Drip irrigation; 7. Underground irrigation.”

Actually, I do all my outdoor watering with my neighbor’s garden hose when he’s out of town or on vacation. I find it’s much, much cheaper than using my own hose.

But if I win the $100, I do plan to take him along with me to the Dollar Tree and let him pick out something really nice for his family.

— Reach Bob Dunning at bdunning@davisenterprise.net

Comments

comments

  • Recent Posts

  • Enter your email address to subscribe to this newspaper and receive notifications of new articles by email.

  • .

    News

    Supervisors remove Saylor from First 5 Yolo Commission

    By Anne Ternus-Bellamy | From Page: A1

     
    GPAS and test scores up for UCD’s newest undergrads

    By Julia Ann Easley | From Page: A1

     
    Million Cat Challenge aims to rescue shelter felines

    By Pat Bailey | From Page: A1 | Gallery

    Everest visit fulfills judge’s lifelong dream

    By Lauren Keene | From Page: A1 | Gallery

     
    U.S., Cuba seek to normalize relations

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

    Water officials fret over rain’s effects

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A2 | Gallery

     
    Bob Dunning: Not enough hours in the month

    By Bob Dunning | From Page: A2

    Fatal Capay crash leads to driver’s arrest

    By Lauren Keene | From Page: A2

     
    Yolo Crisis Nursery in full swing

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A3

     
    Creative women share food, friendship

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

    Pedal around Davis on weekly bike ride

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

     
    Donate to STEAC at Original Steve’s

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

    Beer and film tour boosts bike group’s coffers

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

     
    Overeaters get support at meetings

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

     
    Fibro Friends will update their journals

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

    Input sought on county’s facility needs

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A4

     
    Traditional carols service is Saturday at St. Martin’s

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

    Have coffee with the mayor on Friday

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

     
    Stockings brighten holidays for special kids

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4 | Gallery

    Evening tai chi classes start Jan. 6

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

     
    Name Droppers: Law prof earns peace prize for nonfiction

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A5 | Gallery

    Community menorah lighting set Wednesday

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A5

     
    Latest immunization data shows little improvement locally

    By Anne Ternus-Bellamy | From Page: A5

    School board will vote on repairs, new portables

    By Jeff Hudson | From Page: A6

     
    Study: National monument could boost local economy

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A6

    Round up at the registers for Patwin

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A7

     
    Parent/toddler art and music program offered

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A7

    Libraries will be closed around the holidays

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A7

     
    Cloudy — yet safe — tap water adds to negative health effects

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A7

    Come Worship with Us

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A10

     
    .

    Forum

    This ought to teach her love

    By Creators Syndicate | From Page: B5

     
    Language failed me that night, but not now

    By New York Times News Service | From Page: A8

    Steve Sack cartoon

    By Debbie Davis | From Page: A8

     
    Grand jury function clarified

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A8

    Defying Western academic norms

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A8

     
    Boycotters are our future profs

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A8

    Many thanks to The Avid Reader

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A8

     
    .

    Sports

     
    UCD reveals a challenging softball schedule

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: B1 | Gallery

    Tumey talks about state of Aggie athletics, where they’re headed

    By Bruce Gallaudet | From Page: B1 | Gallery

     
    Davis gets Rio Linda as Curry Invitational starts Thursday

    By Bruce Gallaudet | From Page: B1 | Gallery

    Westbrook, Durant lead Thunder past Kings

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B8 | Gallery

     
    Sports briefs: Former Aggie Descalso inks deal with Colorado

    By Staff and wire reports | From Page: B8

    .

    Features

    Some vegetables just can’t be beet

    By Julie Cross | From Page: A9 | Gallery

     
    .

    Arts

    .

    Business

    .

    Obituaries

    Rena Sylvia Smilkstein

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A4

     
    .

    Comics

    Comics: Wednesday, December 17, 2014

    By Creator | From Page: B6