Visalia City Council expands public opinion survey to ask residents about how the city is addressing current needs
By Reggie Ellis @Reggie_SGN
VISALIA – How is the City of Visalia doing when it comes to addressing homelessness, providing venues for special events and activities, prioritizing road improvements and getting information to citizens?
Those are the questions city leaders are hoping to get answers for in its annual survey of Visalia residents in the coming weeks. Citizen’s Advisory Committee (CAC) will conduct its annual public opinion survey through an online survey as well as in-person surveys at various locations on Saturday, April 7. At its Feb. 27 meeting, the City Council approved the CAC’s recommendation to replace two items on the questionnaire with questions about homelessness and road repairs, add one item to a question and add a question about how residents get their information to the 20-question survey.
After deciding to ban recreational marijuana dispensaries last year, the City replaced that question with the following: “Based on last year’s survey, the citizens of Visalia expressed concern over the increase of homelessness, how would you rate the city’s response to this issue? Residents being surveyed will rate the city on a scale of 1 to 5 with 1 being “Very Poor” and 5 being “Excellent.”
Now that the city has begun to see additional revenue from SB1, the legislature’s increased Gas Tax, the city is less interested in residents view overall traffic flow and more interested in which roads the city should spend money on. The new question No. 8 is as follows: “With the increase in funds coming from the State of California mandated for road and traffic circulation projects, which roads would you like to see repaired or widened within city limits?” The answer is open ended and residents will be able to fill in their own answer instead of choosing from a list of options.
After a banner year of completing biking/walking trails throughout the city and after another difficult year of negotiations with the Rawhide baseball club, the city is adding these to a list of venues to gauge overall interest in the events and activities that go on there. “City Biking & Walking Trails,” and “Rawhide Baseball” will join “City Parks” and “Convention Center” on last year’s list of city-owned venues. The question remains: “During last year, how many times have you visited the following venues.” Answers are a scale of 1 to 4 with 1 being none and 4 being five or more times.
The city added a 2oth question to help gauge the most effective ways to communicate with the public. The two-part question is: “Which Social Media do you frequently use?” and “Which would be the best source for you to access information about the City of Visalia?” Answers include Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and none for the first part and email for the second part.