The City of Palo Alto is asking the community to participate in two separate surveys that will both be conducted by the National Research Center, Inc., (NRC) to gauge community opinions. The first is a new custom community survey that will focus on code enforcement, as well as Palo Alto's built environment and housing. The additional survey was included in this year’s budget as a way to prioritize issues within these areas. The survey will be sent to 3,000 households who will receive the survey in the mail that started on August 28.
The second survey is the annual National Citizen Survey™ that is designed to provide a baseline of how the City government is serving residents, and to gauge community perceptions on a variety of topics. Palo Alto has participated in this survey for the past 15 years and it includes questions about quality of life in the community, policies, resident use of services and other questions related to how the community feels about issues. The survey will be sent to 3,000 households (nonduplicative of the custom survey) starting September 18.
"We encourage residents who receive one of the surveys to fill it out and return it. This is an opportunity for community members to voice their opinions about City services and other issues to help inform Council and City management decisions about where to focus improvements," said Palo Alto City Auditor Harriet Richardson.
Council approved the addition of a custom survey on code enforcement and the built environment to understand more specifically what has caused residents to rate these areas lower on previous surveys.
The NRC provides a unique service to administer, analyze, and report results from a customizable citizen survey. The NRC and International City/County Management Association are able to provide this service at a relatively low cost through careful standardization and automation of the survey process. Each participating jurisdiction can make important customizations for its locale, and the report can compare the results from a jurisdiction with results from other jurisdictions across the United States.