City of Lincoln
2009 Media Releases
- December 22, 2009
- For More Information Contact:
- Diane Gonzolas, Citizen Information Center, 441-7831
Alan Tomkins, Public Policy Center, 472-5678
Mayor Urges Residents To Take Online Survey
Mayor Chris Beutler today encouraged all residents to take the City's latest citizen satisfaction survey, now available online at lincoln.ne.gov. He said this survey is important in measuring City government performance, an essential step in the City's transition to outcome-based budgeting.
"For more than two years, we have worked to change the culture at City Hall to become more responsive, more customer-friendly and more focused on performance," Beutler said. "Residents would be performing an important service for our community by telling us what we do well and what we can improve." The survey will be online until mid-January, and paper copies are available at libraries and at the Mayor's Office.
Beutler also released several results from the recently completed telephone survey of 600 randomly selected residents:
- When asked about quality of life, 91 percent of those surveyed said they were satisfied or very satisfied. "That tells us in pretty clear terms that Lincoln residents think our community is on the right track," Beutler said. "The majority think we are providing them with the kinds of opportunities that make this a great place to get an education, raise a family and start a business."
- Nearly two-thirds of those interviewed said they were satisfied or very satisfied with the City's snow removal, a result that surprised the Mayor because of the difficulty of dealing with winter storms. "To earn what I consider a strong vote of confidence in our snow removal effort, shows that people's expectations are reasonable," he said. "They recognize the challenges we face in providing good service at a fair price to the taxpayers."
- When asked if they receive good value for their City government tax dollars, 45 percent said they agreed or strongly agreed. Only 28 percent said they disagreed or strongly disagreed. "I think the result demonstrates that people approve of how we have handled the City budget and our commitment to both performance-based governing and public participation," he said.
At the same time, the Mayor said he is concerned that more than 70 percent of the phone survey respondents overestimated the percentage of their property tax dollar that goes to City government.
The answer is about 14 percent, but less than 30 percent of those surveyed were correct," he said. "I believe Lincoln residents would rate the value question even higher if they had the correct information on their property taxes.
The Mayor said complete results would be released once the online survey results are processed. The City is again partnering with the University of Nebraska Public Policy Center, which also helped with the PRIORITY LINCOLN project and earlier "Taking Charge" efforts.
TIMELINE - OUTCOME BASED BUDGETING IMPLEMENTATION
- February 12, 2008 - Mayor announces PRIORITY LINCOLN effort to solicit public opinion on how City spends tax dollars. City partners on project with University of Nebraska Public Policy Center with funding from the Lincoln Community Foundation.
- March 2008 - Phone survey of 600 randomly selected residents.
- April 12 - Follow up meeting with about 50 phone survey participants. Portions aired on 5 CITY-TV.
- April 21 - Phone survey results show residents rank safety and security and economic opportunity high.
- April and May 2008 - About 1,300 residents complete online survey or printed copy. About 200 residents participate in series of town hall meetings.
- Summer 2008 - Mayor and City Directors use PRIORITY LINCOLN results to shape budget.
- Fall 2008 - Mayor works with directors and private citizens to identify goals for eight City outcomes: Safety and Security, Economic Opportunity, Health and Productive People, Livable Neighborhoods, Effective Transportation, Environmental Quality, Accountable Government and Identity Lincoln.
- February 5, 2009 - City releases "Taking Charge: Progress Measures and Program Prioritization" and asks for public input on budget planning document.
- April and May 2009 - About 1,800 participate in "Taking Charge" online educational survey focusing on programs and services in danger of being cut or eliminated.
- May 16, 2009 - Day-long in-depth discussion with about 100 residents on City budget. Portions aired on 5 CITY-TV.
- Summer and Fall 2009 - Mayor works with City Directors and private citizens on indicators for goal areas.
- November 19, 2009 - Mayor announces City Stat meetings, random phone and online survey.
- December 2009 - City Stat meetings held, phone survey completed, and online survey beings.