The Clintonville Area Commission is considering a tool that might make it easier to take the public pulse.

The Clintonville Area Commission is considering a tool that might make it easier to take the public pulse.

During the CAC's meeting today, May 5, Stu Nicholson is scheduled to provide commission members and those in the audience with information on PlaceSpeak, an online public opinion poll service based in Vancouver, British Columbia.

PlaceSpeak "solves the problem of how to engage with people online within specific geographical boundaries" by authenticating digital identity and protecting privacy, according to its website.

District 4 CAC representative Judy Minister said Nicholson approached her about the tool for determining what's on the minds of residents, and she in turn asked Chairman Kristopher Keller to put him on the agenda.

The commission's meeting will take place from 7 to 9 p.m. at the Whetstone branch of the Columbus Metropolitan Library, 3909 N. High St.

"It's not that I favor this particular program," Minister said last week, "but I do favor finding a way to accurately gather public opinion in our neighborhood. This is just one method of doing that. There are costs involved, and maybe there are other ways of doing it at lower cost."

PlaceSpeak might serve as an alternative to the popular Clintonville Discussion Forum on Facebook, Keller said.

"There have been some issues in the past that have created incivility among people in the Facebook environment, and people are afraid to post their true opinions," he said. "This avenue ... is a way for people to express their opinions without fear of negative backlash."

Minister added Clintonville Discussion Forum participants aren't necessarily residents of the neighborhood -- something a service such as PlaceSpeak would eliminate.

"I think if we can find a program that can truly verify where people live and can eliminate multiple votes or opinions by people, we should," she said.

Pricing listed on the website starts at $249.99 a month for the standard service.

Also on tap for the May meeting of the commission are three zoning and variance matters along with reports from the Historical Buildings Commission, the architectural review proposal by District 1's David Vottero and COTA representative David Hull.

The Central Ohio Transit Authority board of directors approved a resolution April 27 to place a levy on the Nov. 8 ballot, asking voters to renew the existing 0.25 percent sales tax that expires March 31, 2017, said Lisa Myers, public and media relations manager.

That's a lot of stuff for two hours, Keller said.

"It's going to be a pretty full evening," he said. "I'm always cognizant of the desire to allow everyone to have the time to speak, and it's going to be a challenge given the number of topics that a lot of people have a lot of opinions on."