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Help wanted: Census promoter
County wants accurate count in 2010
census gazette
Documenting the country's population has been important to the government since the country was founded. - photo by Census photo
Field workers out
Joe Egan, manager of the Savannah Early Local Census Office, reports the office has workers out canvassing addresses, including in Liberty and Long counties.
“We’ve had them out for about two weeks,” he said, explaining they are checking addresses in preparation for mailing out forms next year for the 2010 count.
Egan said the workers are supposed to wear IDs and to identify themselves as Census workers to anyone who asks why they are checking out a residence.
The 2010 census is a year away but Liberty County commissioners want to make sure everyone in the county is counted.
A lot of federal and state funding eligibility rides on population numbers, according to the officials.
Chairman John McIver explained municipalities are working together to hire someone to spread the word about the national headcount that comes once every 10 years.
“This is very important because the position of this task involves getting information out to the general public, encouraging them to be prepared to fill out the forms and return them,” McIver said.
County Administrator Joey Brown said the estimated budget is roughly $60,000 for the one-year contract.
Municipalities will be asked contribute, based on population size.
“The 2000 Census numbers were not correct and I think we all realized that…and it hurt us,” Brown said. “This is something we’re going to have to live with for 10 years after it’s done. It’s real important.”
The officials said the biggest hurdle to an accurate count will be getting residents to realize the census affects them.
Participation is required by law, but many do not feel they need to report and throw the letters away, officials said.
“We can’t help folks complaining about taxes and those types of things when they don’t do a simple thing, such as fill this form out, so we can get some outside money to help offset some of the money that comes out of our pockets,” Commissioner Donald Lovette said.
Brown and McIver explained the new job calls for someone familiar with the county who is able to motivate others and speak well. They want residents committed to participate even before getting Census forms in the mail.
“It is going to be quite a job,” Brown said, highlighting speaking engagements and regular interaction with Fort Stewart.
Commissioners told the administrator to advertise the position.
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