One of FM3's particular specialties is providing custom-designed surveys and focus groups for local government agencies. Often, local governments use FM3 research as a management tool to measure public satisfaction with the delivery of services and to gauge public response to local government policy and program initiatives. FM3 has conducted dozens of these "customer satisfaction" surveys for local government clients. Our firm's research has helped cities, counties, school districts, and other local government jurisdictions set budget priorities, measure progress toward performance goals, and craft new program and policy initiatives to respond to the public's needs.
In addition, FM3 provides research help local governments win voter approval for funding measures, including bonds and the variety of general and special tax increments that are vital to sustaining a responsible level of local public services. FM3 applies its expertise through voter surveys and other research techniques to first ascertain the feasibility of passing a funding increment ballot measure and then, if that measure is to be placed on the ballot, to help shape the communications for winning the necessary approval from voters.
Bond and special tax measures are not easy to pass in the best of times. And now, in the current climate of economic uncertainty, cutbacks in state funding for basic services and possible tax increases to offset major state budget deficits, winning voters approval for such measures is has become more difficult. In California, gaining the two-thirds super-majority for passing bonds and dedicated special taxes is even more daunting.
To succeed in this electoral environment, accurate, reliable and strategically useful voter opinion research is an essential tool. For example, an initial baseline survey can determine the overall feasibility and voter acceptance of a bond or special tax measure at different funding levels. It can test how voters respond to different versions of the ballot title and summary, and through analysis of respondent demographics and past voting patterns, it can help determine which election calendar promises the greatest likelihood of success. The same survey can also determine the effectiveness of the rationales and arguments that might be offered for and against a bond or special tax measure, thus helping shape the proponents' best public arguments.
In the past decade alone, FM3 has helped local governments, as well as K-12 and community college districts, pass tens of billions of dollars worth of bonds. And we have been instrumental in winning voter approval for parcel taxes, special assessment districts, local sales taxes, utility user taxes and other special taxes that contribute to sustaining essential local services and assuring a desirable quality of life at the community level.
FM3 believes it offers several advantages to local governments. As materials on this website show, FM3 has conducted voter opinion research for a broad array of local governments, from the small and rural to the large and more socially complex. FM3's work is custom designed to fit the circumstances since every bond or special tax measure election has both unique and familiar qualities. FM3 will work with a client to perfect ballot language and voter pamphlet arguments using its empirical data as a guide. FM3 also can assist local governments and their communications consultants develop strategies for public education programs, as well as - where appropriate - advertising messages for an election campaign.
We would welcome the opportunity to further discuss your needs and FM3's qualifications and capabilities. Please feel free to contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.-828-1183, or at