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Vienna Seeks Feedback from Town Residents

Will conduct a survey on its programs and services.

The Town of Vienna wants to see how well it’s doing, so it’s going to survey some of its residents to find out. Toward that end, it contracted this month with ETC Institute to do the deed.

"It’ll be the Town’s first statistically valid, community-wide survey," said Town spokeswoman Kirstyn Barr. "It’s intended to obtain citizens’ satisfaction levels with town services and programs. We’ll also be able to compare ourselves to similar-sized towns."

She explained the details during the Feb. 3 Vienna Town Council meeting. If town officials know how happy – or not – residents are with the town’s offerings, they can determine whether it’s delivering services in the most effective manner.

Vienna will then be able to use the survey results as a tool during its budgeting and strategic-planning processes. This written survey is to be conducted every other year and will not include commercial businesses and other non-residential institutions. Only people living within the Town limits will be eligible to participate.

ETC will work with Vienna to develop the survey, which will be about four pages long. It will also distribute the survey to a random sampling of Vienna residents, with a guaranteed return of at least 300 completed surveys. The document will be mailed, but will also be available online for those wishing to take the survey that way.

PEOPLE WILL BE ASKED their opinions about Town services such as: street maintenance, water/sewer service, traffic/transportation issues, snow removal, leaf collection, street sweeping, street lighting, cleanliness of streets and buildings, Community Center programs and recreational opportunities.

They may also be asked, for example, about quality of neighborhood life in Vienna, property maintenance in the neighborhoods, trash and recycling, service received from town employees, Vienna’s budget, communication of Town information, public safety, community events and various town policies and procedures.

"It’ll show us where we’re falling short or doing well," said Vice-Mayor Laurie DiRocco.

"Yes," said Barr. "This will help us see what the residents’ priorities are and where the gaps are. And you can use this information as a tool for where you want to guide the town."

The results will also provide a window into residents’ overall satisfaction with their town, as a whole. And ETC will do a survey analysis including benchmarking data allowing Vienna to compare its residents’ satisfaction levels with similar, national and regional data for more than 80 types of local government services.

THE SURVEY RESULTS will be provided in a written report. In addition, GIS mapping/Geo-Coding will enable these results to be displayed in a map format pinpointing satisfaction levels throughout Vienna on specific questions.

At its Feb. 3 meeting, the Town Council formally awarded the survey contract to ETC to the tune of $12,000. It was money Vienna had already earmarked for this purpose.

During the FY2013-2014 budgeting process, the Council approved adding $10,000 to the Public Information budget to procure and undertake such a survey. The additional $2,000 for this project was provided by the Departments of Public Works and Parks and Recreation to pay for the Geo-Coding and GIS Mapping.

"I think it’s a nice idea to reach out and ask the town," said DiRocco. "I’d like to have it implemented by May."