Council mulls city surveys - Bonner County Daily Bee: Local News

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Council mulls city surveys

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Posted: Tuesday, December 25, 2012 10:00 am

SANDPOINT —  The City Council is investigating means to gauge public opinion on police service and other departments using surveys early next year.

 Council members are planning to issue a variety of surveys over the course of the first few months in 2013. The results of these surveys will help guide the council on what to emphasize during the budgeting process and which projects they recommend Sandpoint Urban Renewal Agency to prioritize.

Council members voted Wednesday to include a survey regarding the current status of the police force with utility bills scheduled to mail in February. In addition, council members specified that the survey be loaded onto the police website.

The discussion came about when Councilman Shelby Rognstad proposed scheduling a public workshop with interim police chief Corey Coon to discuss the current state of police service and take questions, comments and suggestions.

As it turns out, just such an event is already in the works. However, Rognstad observed that the event was more of a reception with a meet-and-greet component and not necessarily a public forum. Nevertheless, a majority of council members voted to not make any scheduling decisions for a forum-style event at that time. Instead, they preferred to work out details like finding a facilitator and a venue to encourage a civil and comfortable discourse first.  

In regard to surveys, Councilwoman Carrie Logan was interested in seeing contributions go out from each department with significant public involvement.  While departments like city clerk, finance and legal would likely be unnecessary, Logan said that it would be very valuable to learn what people though of city services like water, sewer, police, fire, parks, streets and other departments with significant public involvement.

Council discussions also generated other potential uses for surveys in the future. Councilman Justin Schuck noted that public relations questions like, “How has the byway affected your life,” could provide the city with valuable feedback in the future.

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  • Luv83864 posted at 8:51 pm on Wed, Dec 26, 2012.

    Luv83864 Posts: 702

    Corey, All very good points.

  • Corey Greve posted at 5:51 pm on Wed, Dec 26, 2012.

    Corey Greve Posts: 977

    I'm looking forward to the survey. I am not convinced it will change anything, but I will participate nonetheless.

    Surveys are interesting in that they can be tweaked for results depending on the way a questionsare worded. The resulting statistics are malleable as well. I am interested to see how this one looks.

  • Luv83864 posted at 2:04 pm on Wed, Dec 26, 2012.

    Luv83864 Posts: 702

    Why not just have electronic and avoid printing and postage? Except have some variable for pick up maybe at utility department? How could it be scientific when its opinions?

  • Helen Newton posted at 12:25 pm on Wed, Dec 26, 2012.

    Helen Newton Posts: 537

    Interesting..... Michael Boge and I did this 4 years running while on the council - at our own expense - not at the taxpayers. One of the complaints we heard form the mayor and some other council members was that our survey was not "scientific"..... we never said it was.... but now the city wants to send one out - will it be scientific?..... and this will be at your - the TAXPAYER'S - expense.... hmmmmm. The city council members could at least contribute the net from their $200 a month and the mayor from her net $1000 a month and cover the cost of printing and mailing the survey.....

  • Luv83864 posted at 10:26 pm on Tue, Dec 25, 2012.

    Luv83864 Posts: 702

    I am glad this is happening but it will only be for people in the city? Or can anyone fill out form on police website? Will it be sent to the homes owners or renters? Or both? I look forward to filling this out. I think Justin has a good idea and there should also be space for additional experience comments or questions. I think these should be thoroughly read and addressed properly. Input doesn't always get where it needs to be when making phone calls, I never know of I'm taking to someone who will get my point across, and so for they haven't which is a major frustration for me with the city public works as of now. Non responsive is not a way to deal with something.