Mayor Chris Beutler today encouraged residents to participate in the new Taking Charge City satisfaction survey now available online at https://unl.qualtrics.com/SE/?SID=SV_1FzJtL7mmQ4sM3a. The 15-minute survey will be available until March 20. Mayor Beutler also released some results from the mail survey completed by more than 600 randomly selected household in Lincoln.
"We need to continuously evaluate how we deliver services and whether those services are meeting the needs of our citizens," Beutler said. "Our citizens pay the price of government, and they rightfully want their money's worth. The Taking Charge process gives citizens a means to make their thoughts known on how we do business at City Hall and how we can do it better. Over the years, thousands of Lincoln residents have participated in community conversations, budget surveys and customer satisfaction surveys. The results have made a significant impact on how we provide services to the public."
About 58 percent of respondents to the random sample survey gave a positive answer to a question on the City's overall performance. More than 90 percent expressed satisfaction with the overall service of Lincoln libraries. But the Mayor said the results also point to areas where improvements are needed:
"If the City is not performing to the satisfaction of our residents in an area, we want to know,"he said. "Feedback allows us to improve performance, and that's why the Taking Charge survey is so valuable to us. I look forward to continuing dialogue on the street maintenance issue."
The complete results of the random sample survey will be released after the online survey process is completed. Responses to the non-random online survey will be analyzed separately from the mailed version to distinguish the portions of the results that can be generalized to the larger population.
The City has partnered with the University of Nebraska Public Policy Center (ppc.nebraska.edu) since 2008 on efforts to implement outcome-based budgeting, which ties programs to the goals that citizens what local government to accomplish. The process has included surveys and public meetings. Most of the questions in the new survey were included in a 2009-2010 satisfaction survey so that the City can spot changes in attitudes over time.
This is the first time the survey has been sent by mail. Using mail is less expensive and more inclusive than a phone survey. Phone surveys often do not include cell phone users because of expense and can exclude younger adults and lower-income families. The University's Bureau of Sociological Research (bosr.unl.edu) coordinated the mail survey.
"I am proud to be part of a government that listens to its citizens," Mayor Beutler said. "We are pleased with the praise we received from the public. At the same time, we must be willing to take an honest look at the services we provide through the eyes of those we serve. We must be willing to confront and change those things that need improvement."