Source of survey still a mystery | AspenTimes.com

Source of survey still a mystery

Greg Schreier

The source of the money behind a telephone survey on land-use issues over the weekend remains a mystery.

The Seattle-based company conducting the survey in Aspen refused again Tuesday to disclose who commissioned the survey. The survey caused confusion among local respondents because interviewers said they were asking questions on behalf of the “Aspen planning commission.”

Stanley Tsao, vice president of the Connections Group, has now twice declined to disclose who, exactly, commissioned the survey. Tsao also refused to disclose who was behind the survey Monday evening.

On Monday, Tsao said he didn’t know who had commissioned the survey, saying he was only an account executive at the company. However, the firm’s website indicates he is actually the company’s only vice president; except for the president and CEO, the site lists all other employees as account executives.

Tsao said he sent a request from The Aspen Times to the responsible party, and that it was up to that person or organization to disclose.

The survey is complete, and results are being tabulated. The company may have more to say after the results have been tallied, Tsao said, but right now has “nothing to add.”

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The Connections Group advises political campaigns, companies and individuals on media strategies and public relations. It is one of three companies involved in the phone survey of Aspen residents asking about the land-use code and other development issues.

The United Kingdom-based CRG Research and Inquire Market Research were also involved. Inquire Market Research is the company that made the phone calls.

Some questions were also misleading, as one asked about the proposed changes to the city’s land-use code. To date, no specific changes have been proposed.

City spokeswoman Mitzi Rapkin could not be reached late Tuesday afternoon for comment, but did express concern about the survey on Monday.

“It’s disingenuous,” she said. “We’ve gotten so many phone calls … People are just confused.”

Greg Schreier’s e-mail address is gschreier@aspentimes.com.