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Good evening.  Tonight it is my pleasure to join you to introduce our second biennial city wide survey.  After some brief comments I will introduce Damema Mann from National Research Center, Inc. (NRC) to present highlights from the survey results. Following her presentation, we will be available for questions.

As you will recall, the City of Bloomington contracted with NRC in 2016 to conduct the first ever scientific random city wide survey in the first quarter of 2017.  (It should be noted that our Parks Department has used this process for more than 20 years, but limited their focus to parks related issues.) Our goals for that first city wide survey included:

  • Establishing a baseline of information about city residents’ opinions about the services they receive,

  • Gaining data to inform decisions about resource deployment going forward,

  • Increasing transparency by sharing with the public the results of the completed surveys.

That first survey, presented to you and made available to the public in late April of 2017, was a success with an enthusiastic response that provided a statistically reliable result. That report has been used on many, many occasions by staff, boards, commissions, local businesses and nonprofits to inform decisions and promote the community.  

As valuable as the first survey was, our enthusiasm has increased with the 2019 survey.  Naturally we were interested to see what had changed in the eyes of our residents - our employers - in the last two years, but our basic goals remained to increase transparency and gain data to inform decisions. The 2019 survey would provide the first data indicating trends. Ms. Mann will go into more detail during her presentation this evening, but I am pleased to be able to share what I hope will be just the first two data sets (2017 and 2019) of an ongoing and longer-term effort to increase transparency and share valuable data about our city.

I’ll note that in addition to the randomly selected households, all city residents were invited to participate in both surveys online. Those results have been tabulated separately to maintain the statistical reliability of the random results and are shown separately online.  

As kind of a teaser, perhaps I can share just a handful of interesting results:  

  • 78% of survey respondents made an effort to make their home more energy efficient in the last 12 months.

  • 71% have made an effort to conserve water in the last 12 months.

It seems our residents are not only concerned about global warming but are taking personal action to address it here.

Regarding delivery of city services:

  • When asked about their interactions with city staff, 87% rated their overall impression as either excellent or good.

  • Several favorite aspects of life in Bloomington were rated significantly higher than our peer cities, including opportunities for education and entertainment, and opportunities to attend cultural/arts/music/religious and social events

  • And you’ll hear that our improvements in our sanitation and recycling program were noticed.

Of course we value these results not just for letting us know what we are doing well, but where we can improve.  The Office of the Mayor and each department head will review these results and developing responses to those areas indicating a need for attention, resources or training. Complete results are available online now at the city website.

The total cost to perform the survey of 3,000 randomly selected households in 2019 was $36,000. And now, with your permission Mr. President, I’d like to invite Demema Mann to the podium to present highlights of the 2019 Citywide Survey. Ms. Mann has traveled from NRC in Boulder, Colorado to be here with us tonight.  I’d like to thank her and her team for their good work. I’d also like to thank city staff who worked on this including Mary Catherine Carmichael, Morgan Allen and Paul Stahlke. Ms. Mann….

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