Mesa residents can expect a survey in the mail, asking them about such issues as community appearance and cleanliness, perception of public safety, jobs, health care, education and cultural opportunities.
Mesa wants to hear from you.
Sometime in late September, 3,000 Mesa residents can expect a survey in the mail, asking them about such issues as community appearance and cleanliness, perception of public safety, jobs, health care, education and cultural opportunities.
Mesa City Council this week favored going ahead with the $20,200 National Citizen Survey, to be conducted by the National Research Center of Colorado. Chandler and Scottsdale are among other Arizona cities that have used this survey.
Natalie Lewis, assistant to the city manager, said the "scientific, data-driven" survey would help city leaders evaluate services and receive input from residents on how to improve on them.
Mayor Scott Smith and Council members Dave Richins, Scott Somers and Dina Higgins said that getting feedback, especially some unexpected, would help them prioritize where to spend those limited resources while making budget decisions around the end of the year.
But Councilman Alex Finter was apprehensive of the public perception of spending money on this exercise in such hard economic times. Plus, he wasn't sure if the results would provide anything surprising.
"We have slashed and burned and cut pretty much everybody, every department, and I can predict we'll get a survey back that says we're really hurting in many areas of the community and that won't be a surprise to anybody," Finter said.
He had hoped that the city could save costs by doing an online survey or using the city's Building Strong Neighborhoods surveys.
Lewis said this survey is different from those surveys, which the city conducts regularly, because those are focused on a particular neighborhood at a time. "This survey is geographically and demographically diverse," Lewis said.
Northeast Mesa resident Dawn Fallon, who attended the mayor's town hall meeting Thursday, said she liked the idea of the survey. Her top priorities and concerns?
"Planning for traffic patterns as east Mesa gets developed, more fire stations and infrastructure," Fallon said.
Smith said it's good to hear positive feedback, but "you really get more benefit when people tell you where you're falling short."
The survey, officials said, would help tap into the minds of those residents who don't regularly attend community meetings or actively reach out to city officials because they're too busy in their daily grind.
Survey results are expected back by late November.