Mayor Chris Beutler today said randomly selected Lincoln households will begin receiving the new Taking Charge Citizen Satisfaction Survey this week. He said the Taking Charge public engagement process, which began in 2008, has helped City leaders deal with the gap between growing citizen expectations and limited resources.
"The survey asks Lincoln's residents to evaluate a wide range of City services including parks, libraries, public transportation, streets and snow plowing," Beutler said. "It asks for citizen perceptions of various City issues such as neighborhood quality of life, how Lincoln plans for growth, employment opportunities and the environment. What citizens tell us in the survey helps us plan a path toward the results they want. It helps us better understand the impacts of our efforts and guides us toward solutions."
In the past, an online version of the survey has been available for all residents to take at the same time of the random-sample mailed survey. This year, the results of the mail survey will be used to develop a later online survey.
"The idea is to ask online survey takers about key results in the mailed survey," Beutler said. "This will help us to drill down into the survey answers to better understand why residents gave the answers they did. We are hopeful this approach will help lead to better pinpoint solutions."
The Mayor said the City expects to have the results of the mail survey in August and will start the online survey shortly after.
Also new with this survey is a sampling strategy that will provide results from each of the four City Council districts. Beutler said this will allow City officials to determine if issues or challenges are specific to certain areas of the community. About 4,000 surveys (1,000 in each district) will be mailed to randomly selected households in Lincoln. Past mail surveys have had a response rate of about 32 percent.
The City continues to partner with the University of Nebraska Public Policy Center (PPC) on the Taking Charge process, which has included surveys and public meetings. The University's Bureau of Sociological Research is handling the data collection. More information is available at lincoln.ne.gov (keyword: taking charge), ppc.nebraska.edu and bosr.unl.edu.
Beutler said the Taking Charge process is a tribute to intergovernmental partnership and citizen engagement.
"Our residents have demonstrated an amazing willingness to participate in City decision-making," he said. "Over the year, thousands of Lincoln citizens have taken part in the Taking Charge public engagement process, helping City Hall leaders make budget decisions and evaluate service. Because we bring people together and work to find meaningful and realistic solutions to the challenges we face, Lincoln has thrived."