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Last Call For Surveys

City Hall waits for stragglers to respond to questionnaire.

“If you don’t vote, you can’t complain.”

The old adage can probably be applied to a survey dispatched by Novato officials to 3,000 residents. And time is up to get those surveys turned in.

What’s at stake is how local officials plan for the city’s future and how they use their funds — your tax dollars — in the future.

Carla Hansen, Novato’s management analyst, said the survey affords citizens a chance to determine “What is the sentiment in our city? What can the city improve on? How should we be spending our money in the future?”

The 3,000 survey participants were chosen randomly and the resulting reports may shape the city’s direction.

It’s pretty specific reporting, Hansen said. “Every neighborhood is broken down.”

The City of Novato sponsored the $25,000 community survey to “learn more about residents’ perceptions of city services and their funding priorities as it relates to those services,” stated a FAQ document about the survey.

National Citizen Survey (NCS), a firm that specializes in survey data, was brought on board to handle the distribution and collection of surveys and reminder post cards.

“We’re getting way more bang for our buck than any other consultant of this kind,” Hansen said, adding that performing the task in-house would have drained city staff hours and been a costly approach. “NCS does all the work,” she said.

Now it’s up to the residents to fill out the surveys, which can be done by hand or online. Hansen said Monday, April 8 was when the data would start to be compiled and reported.

The results of the NCS survey will be unveiled at a Novato City Council meeting in May. For those who weren’t among the 3,000 chosen ones, the same survey will be made available online at the city’s website.

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Brenda April 07, 2013 at 05:30 AM
Is no no one paying attention.... ... $25,000 for 3000 surveys. Anticipating a 35% return (per the attachment) - 1050 responses !!! We are paying $ 23 a piece to find out what less than 1% of us think. WTF ?!?!?!
Judy April 07, 2013 at 03:20 PM
I did not receive one either, who did?
JAN April 09, 2013 at 02:26 PM
We did and are new to the area. Are there any happy people who write to Patch? You live in one of the best places in California. Good schools, good government, including the cops and close to real airports. San Francisco and all of the water activities are a simple bonus. Look out the window... it's simply another beautiful day. Check the weather elsewhere and appreciate what you have. Life here is good.
T. Allen April 17, 2013 at 06:25 PM
Thank you Jan, I couldn't agree more. Most of us appreciate what we have. There are complainers in every community, but Patch comments are heavily unbalanced toward complaints. That's why most of us don't bother reading them.
Mike May 07, 2013 at 05:09 PM
update: Survey is now available online to all! closes on May 13. http://www.n-r-c.com/survey/novatosurvey2013.htm

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