Survey results to guide city improvement
January 9, 2007
Aspen, CO Colorado
ASPEN ” As part of its 2006 Goals and Outcome Measures, each of the city’s departments set a series of goals for the past year, and they will use recent citizen survey results to determine how well they’re meeting those goals and how they can improve.
Barry Crook, the city’s business process manager, said the target for each department is that “at least 85 percent [of survey respondents] ‘agree’ or ‘strongly agree’ with the statements in the survey.”
“It’s part of a process of continuous improvement: Here’s what we want to do. Here’s how we did. Should we be doing better,” he said.
City officials often hear anecdotal evidence of citizens’ concerns, he said, but the survey is a way to “separate the anecdotes from some statistics and numbers that represent everyone’s experience.”
A person might come to the city and say he went to the park three times and almost stepped in dog waste each time, for example. But the survey can help determine if that’s one person’s perception or if it’s a more universal problem, Crook said.
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“If you find a trend, that’s a real issue for you,” he said.
Dog waste was one of the trends that stood out in the survey for Crook, as were transportation issues and concerns about safety crossing Main Street, which the survey company pointed out.
Mayor Helen Klanderud had only briefly reviewed the lengthy results Monday, but she said what she saw was “fairly typical of the community. There are many opinions about many things, and not everybody agrees on everything.”
Both Crook and Klanderud noted a trend that some people aren’t clear on exactly what the city is responsible for. Crook said one respondent commented on how the city could do better with the museums, which it does not oversee.
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