by Carol Harris, Branson area, and Mary Engler-Guccione, Joplin area
Looking toward 2001, when Taney County will change to first-class status, the Taney County Commission has hired Land Forum LLC owner Jan Blase and associate Dawn Erickson to conduct a telephone survey of Taney County voters' opinions on a proposed new court building and jail.
Blase said the survey would collect the opinions of 625 voters through interviews conducted by the Opinion Specialists of Springfield under the direction of Dr. Mark Ellickson. The survey began Aug. 19 and results will be presented to the Taney County Commission in mid-September.
In a press release, Blase said, "First-class county requirements include at least five additional county officials, as well as support personnel, office space and equipment.
"The county has outgrown its courthouse and expanded facilities are needed. This survey will help us to measure residents' opinions of present facilities, a new justice building and how they would prefer to fund this project."