Maintaing a neutral balance
11/13/09 / Joe Fitzler
Sometimes the projects we work on at Corona Insights go unnoticed by the general public. The recent follow-up study about an occupancy ordinance in Fort Collins, however, was not one of these projects. In 2006, Corona conducted the initial study about the rental market impacts of limiting the number of unrelated people who can live together (known locally as the “three-unrelated” ordinance). The interest, and passion, about this issue were high in the community. The follow-up study evaluated the effect of the ordinance as it was eventually implemented, in order to aid the City Council in their review of the ordinance and make any necessary changes.
Every result, process, and assumption of the study was scrutinized. Each stakeholder group in the City reviewed the report with their own lens, using the data to test their own assumptions and often to bolster their own positions.. During this study – and every other study we do at Corona – maintaining a neutral position is extremely important. Any bias, real or perceived, would ruin the integrity of the study and the integrity of Corona. During the entire research process, we had to ensure we kept our neutral position, that our methodology was rock solid and, just as important, that we could explain it in a way that would understood by any inquiring group.
Overall, the results were well-received and all interested parties welcomed having the right answers and insights that could help move the review process forward.
A controversial issue puts pressure on decision makers and they need the best information to make decisions. By staying neutral and maintaining rigorous methodologies, Corona provides this information.