Tsunamis are always a concern for coastal communities and Lincoln County School District’s community was no different. With Waldport High School located within a tsunami zone, moving the school to higher ground became a high priority for the school district. Sometimes districts make the mistake of assuming the priorities of a vocal few are the same as the priorities of the community at-large. Survey results from Nelson Research showed that athletic facility improvements were not high on the community’s priority list. By being willing to make tough decisions based on data, the District made the hard choice to let go of lower priority projects. Their reward? Passage of a $63 million bond measure in November 2011.

Lesson Learned: We’ve seen this countless times. The passions of a vocal minority are mistaken for widespread community support. Let the research do the work.