Realigning wards within the Stake

Discussions around using and interfacing with the Church MLS program.
colbyj-p40
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Realigning wards within the Stake

Postby colbyj-p40 » Tue Sep 29, 2009 6:38 pm

Hello, I am a stake clerk and currently struggling to get the Geo codes straight for our stake. Basically, they are non-existant. My President would like to realign a few boundaries that will affect three wards. I've solicited help previously on geocodes, watched the online church training video about entering geo codes, but a few questions remain. Let me see if I can describe our scenario clearly, and hopefully someone may have some advice. Picture three wards in a line north to south (A - B - C), stacked on top of each other. We are looking to split the middle ward (B) in half...giving the top half to the ward on top (A), and the bottom half to the ward on bottom (C). Thus, making two wards (A & C) out of three. Make sense?
To provide feedback sooner rather than later, and since there are hardly any geocodes currently entered, I thought I could go in and simply enter "A" for the geo code of all A households, and "C" for all C households. Since we're basically cutting B in half (B north & B south), I now need to determine which households will need a BN (B north) or BS (B south) geocode...and then enter them. This is proving very difficult...
Following the training video, I then figure I could do the boundary proposal, add a new ward, add a new model, for the new A ward I'd click on: A, and BN. For the new C ward, I'd click on C and BS.

But it does not seem to be working...
Can I model new boundary proposals without my wards entering ward geocodes? I was hoping to avoid including the ward clerks in order to avoid tipping our hand to the possible boundary proposals.

I am losing personal momentum on how to get this done and hate disappointing my President. Any suggestions are welcome! Feel free to email me directly: ssms.clerk@yahoo.com
thanks!

RossEvans
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Postby RossEvans » Tue Sep 29, 2009 6:45 pm

colbyj wrote:Can I model new boundary proposals without my wards entering ward geocodes? I was hoping to avoid including the ward clerks in order to avoid tipping our hand to the possible boundary proposals.


First remember that this is a public forum, and your profile visible at the left of your post says where you are.

As I understand stake MLS, you can enter the Stake Geo Code values and they will not be visible to the ward clerks.

russellhltn
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Postby russellhltn » Tue Sep 29, 2009 6:53 pm

Since I was able to figure out your stake and wards from the clues given, I edited the ward names to make it a bit more generic.
Have you searched the Wiki?
Try using a Google search by adding "site:tech.lds.org/wiki" to the search criteria.

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aebrown
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Postby aebrown » Tue Sep 29, 2009 8:08 pm

colbyj wrote:I thought I could go in and simply enter "A" for the geo code of all A households, and "C" for all C households. Since we're basically cutting B in half (B north & B south), I now need to determine which households will need a BN (B north) or BS (B south) geocode...and then enter them. This is proving very difficult...


It's not clear what you are saying is difficult. It is very simple to add a geocode to a household; once you get the knack of it, you can add one in about 4 seconds per household. On the Household Geo Codes screen, just click on the Add link, then double click on the desired code, then move to the next household.

What is harder, and probably what is the challenge for you, is identifying what households belong in BN and which belong in BS. You might find HPaulsen's application (see Another mapping program) useful for this -- it maps the location of households and allows you to draw regions on the map. You might also see if Ward B has a ward map that the bishop can supply to you.

So is your problem simply the process of adding geo codes, or is it identifying which households are to be assigned which geo codes?

colbyj wrote: Following the training video, I then figure I could do the boundary proposal, add a new ward, add a new model, for the new A ward I'd click on: A, and BN. For the new C ward, I'd click on C and BS.

But it does not seem to be working...


Again, it's hard for me to understand what is not working. What exactly is the problem? Are you able to add a proposal?

Within a proposal, you talk about adding a ward and a model. But there is only the concept of a model, which is a proposed ward. So it doesn't really make sense to talk about adding both a ward and a model.

But what you described after that does sound right. You would create a model called "New A Ward" and select geocodes A and BN; you would have a second model called "New C Ward" and select geocodes BS and C. Once you've done that, you would see a quick summary of the numbers of Mem, Fam, HP, Eld, RS for each of the models.

You can also go to the statistics page and drill down to whatever detail level you want -- for example, you'll see how many children 3-11 there are and can drill down and see the names of those children -- and you can do the same for about 40 different categories.

So when you say it's not working, at which point in this process does it fail? What stops you from proceeding?

colbyj wrote: Can I model new boundary proposals without my wards entering ward geocodes? I was hoping to avoid including the ward clerks in order to avoid tipping our hand to the possible boundary proposals.


You don't need any ward geocodes. In fact, the only use for ward geocodes in this process is that if there is no stake geocode for a family, the ward geocode will automatically be copied into the stake geocode field.

But the whole boundary alignment system deals only with stake geocodes, and you can enter all of them in stake MLS without needing any help from the wards (although you might wish you had some of their knowledge of how the households are laid out in neighborhoods or towns).

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hpaulsen
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Postby hpaulsen » Wed Sep 30, 2009 4:11 am

I just want to point out that my WardMap program (mentioned before) can be used to preview statistics for each boundary (num members, Melchizedek Priesthood, RS, almost anything else you're interested in) without having to individually reassign members in MLS. It can be useful as a quick rough draft.

colbyj-p40
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Postby colbyj-p40 » Wed Sep 30, 2009 1:27 pm

appreciate the assistance of all...and yes, I failed to remember the public forum limitations, so thanks for the assistance there (it was late last night and I was quite frustrated...). I'll take a look at the wardmap program. Knowing now that only the stake geocodes really matter is also very helpful. I'll get back to it and check back if I hit another snag.
Sure appreciate these forums and the assistance you all so promptly provide. Thank you!

mamadsen
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Postby mamadsen » Thu Oct 01, 2009 1:42 pm

My methodology in a similar exercise was to obtain a paper map of the ward boundaries (BTW, you or your stake president could ask Salt Lake for a boundary map of your stake, which includes the wards within your stake). On the map, I grouped X number of homes within a geocode (the code). The code was drawn in pencil first and then written inside the boundary of the code. The code would have some type of intelligence to identify the ward and neighborhood. Naturally, some codes have more homes than others, but the objective was to try to keep the codes about the same size and the lines drawn along natural boundaries (streets, backyards, fields, etc) so that as we looked at different models, we could add or subtract a geocode or two to the models to see how that affected total numbers, MP holders, youth and children.

Some streets were long enough that we just had to divide them by next door neighbors. Once that work was done, on the Household Geo Codes tab, filter the list by ward then click on the address column to sort order the addresses (this makes it easier to assign the codes as you move down the address list).

You can then go to the Boundary Proposal menu and plug and play with as many different variations as you need to identify the right mix to base your split on.

I really need to try one of the electronic versions mentioned!)


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