“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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