If you live in Boulder and have an opinion on community well-being or how satisfied you are with city services, city government wants to hear from you. Six thousand households were recently mailed a survey on the topic but if you didn’t receive one, KGNU’s Roz Brown says you can still weigh-in.
Boulder’s 2018 Community Survey asks residents about their priorities – from current quality of life to their overall satisfaction with government services. Sarah Huntley is the city of Boulder’s engagement manager and says the survey is bi-annual.
“We do the survey every two years, and we try to ask the same exact questions every two years and that’s really important because it gives us trends over time,” said Huntley.
Six thousand Boulder households were randomly selected to participate in the community survey and sent the document by Boulder-based National Research Center.
“They have created something called the National Citizen Survey that many cities and communities across the U.S are using, so we have that expertise in our city, which is wonderful,” said Huntley. “We tap into them to make sure they are doing the kind of sampling that we need to really be able to say, ‘Yes, this is the voice of our community as a whole.’”
Huntley notes that results will be added to previous survey results dating back to the mid-1980s, to gauge how opinions have changed or evolved. She says many of the questions apply to a national audience. For example, what services citizens use or what government programs are accessed. But there are also Boulder-specific questions.
“The National Citizen Survey did not have a question about recycling and composting. We know that has been a major push in our community so starting in 2016 we asked a question about that. Another example would be around engagement. As the manager of engagement I’m interested in knowing if it’s gaining traction – if people feel that they’re input is being considered in the city process.”
As a college town, Boulder has characteristics many other U.S. cities would not, and Huntley says additional reports have been requested to address that.
“We’ve asked the survey company to tell us not only our results, but how we compare to other college towns and other cities along the Front Range.”
Boulder city council will hear the survey results at a meeting this winter and they will be posted online for residents to review. If you didn’t receive a mailed survey and want the city to know what you think about quality of life and your satisfaction with what the government is doing you can still participate.
“We know that some of your listeners would like to weigh-in on these questions, so about a month after the mail survey, we make the survey available online. We collect that data, and keep it separate because typically those who take on-line surveys self-select and we don’t get the diversity of responses we would in a mail survey, but there’s validity in what people online say, so we’ll be looking at both sets.”
The survey for those who did not receive it in the mail will be posted online toward the end of October and will be available in English or Spanish. Go to bouldercolorado.gov for more information.