Posts tagged “2019 Citizen Survey

Citizen survey provides valuable insight to city leaders

By Colin Killian, Public Communications Manager

When I was a kid, I adored sports statistics. Batting averages, shooting percentages, passing efficiency – you name it, I ate it up.  I never dreamed I would someday be just as enamored by the vast array of statistical data in your average citizen survey.

National Service Research conducted the City of College Station’s survey in April, and we presented the 71-page summary report to the city council Thursday night. About 950 pages of the raw survey data sit on my desk.

What kind of stat nerd would spend hours of his life pouring over this stuff? Yep, this guy.

And despite what you might think, some of the numbers are pretty interesting, especially when compared to the rest of Texas.

In sports, a .325 batting average may be impressive, but what if the player only ranks 50th in the league? What if he hits .300 but ranks 8th? We compare sports statistics to give context to how athletes perform. Cities do the same thing with citizen surveys to achieve a similar context.

We had an outstanding response with 1,236 residents participating. All surveys and polls have flaws, but with a margin of error of +/- 2.8 percent, we’re confident the results of this survey fairly reflect the views of our population.

We conduct these surveys periodically as part of the city council’s strategic plan, so we’re able to measure and compare our performance over time. Before this year, our most recent surveys were in 2016 and 2012.

The 2019 survey also compares us to Texas cities that have conducted similar surveys in the last two years. We stacked up well against our peer cities in the state (those within 60,000 of our population of 122,000) and Texas cities overall.

What did the survey show?

On the affirmative side, about 8 of 10 residents rate the overall quality of city services and our water, wastewater and electric services as good or excellent. We’re also pleased that 85 percent give the city’s customer service a positive rating.

In addition, about 9 out of 10 respondents rated our community and their neighborhood as an excellent or good place to live and raise a family. That same portion would recommend College Station as a place to live.

The problem areas are what you’d expect, led by traffic congestion. Only 24 percent gave us an excellent or good rating for that, but the benchmarks show traffic being a problem everywhere in Texas, which reflects the rapid population growth in our state.

Of course, our police and fire services again rate highly with the public. Since 2016, we’ve had a nine-point increase in the percentage who feel safe in their neighborhoods, despite an 11-point rise in those who feel crime is increasing.

The five most important community characteristics to residents were the ease of car travel around town, the availability of medical and health care facilities, the availability of quality affordable housing, the overall appearance of the community, and job opportunities.

The survey is simply one of many tools that city management and the city council use to provide a high level of service to our residents. While it’s apparent that College Station stacks up well across the board, we also recognize we have many areas that need improvement — and that’s even more valuable to us than the positive ratings.

Check out the complete survey results when you have a chance and let us know what you think.

2019 Citizen Survey Results

As the survey illustrates, your opinion is always important.

 


About the Blogger

Colin Killian (@ColinKillian) has been with the City of College Station since 2010 after serving 23 years as associate media relations director for the Texas A&M Athletics Department. Killian has also worked as a reporter and editor for the Corpus Christi Caller-Times and Lewisville News. A native of Hobbs, N.M., he graduated from Texas Tech with a bachelor’s degree in journalism/political science.


 

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Live Blog: Thursday’s city council meetings (June 27)

Sitting (L-R): Mayor Pro Tem Linda Harvell, Mayor Karl Mooney, Eleanor Vessali. Standing (L-R): Bob Brick, Jerome Rektorik, John Nichols, Dennis Maloney.

By Colin Killian, Public Communications Manager

Welcome to our live blog from the College Station City Council’s workshop and regular meetings on Thursday, June 27. It’s not the official minutes.

The meetings can be watched live on Suddenlink channel 19 or online. An archive of previous council meetings is available on the website.

5:11 p.m.

The workshop has started. The council took no action out of the executive session.

5:21 p.m.

Consent Agenda Discussion

The council will vote on items listed on the consent agenda during tonight’s regular meeting. Councilmembers pulled this consent item for workshop discussion:

  • Gabbard/Thomas Park Improvements: A $538,800 contract with Jamail and Smith Construction for improvements at Gabbard and Thomas Parks. The Gabbard project includes a new playground, surfacing, and a shade structure. The Thomas project includes a new play unit and surfacing on the south end and new surfacing and swings on the north end, which will also receive a shade structure on the existing play unit.

Here’s the PowerPoint presentation:

  • Fleet Fuel System Rehabilitation Project: A $285,675 contract for the professional engineering services related to the Fleet Fuel System Rehabilitation Project, which involves the design of two new fleet fuel stations to replace those at the Public Works Service Center and the Utility Service Center.
  • Relocation Reimbursement Agreement: The final payment of $194,050.05 for work completed under the relocation reimbursement agreement with Explorer Pipeline Company. The contract covers work to relocate and lower the existing Explorer pipeline that crosses the Barron Road right-of-way. The relocation is needed to allow for planned improvements.

6:21 p.m.

YMCA Partnership

The council heard a presentation from the YMCA and discussed a possible YMCA facility in College Station. The consensus of the council was to direct the City Manager’s Office to explore the feasibility of forming a partnership with the YMCA.

Here’s the PowerPoint presentation:

6:21 p.m.

Mayor Mooney suspended the workshop. The regular meeting will start after a short break.

6:32 p.m.

The regular meeting has started.

6:37 p.m.

Smart Irrigation Month

Mayor Mooney proclaimed July as Smart Irrigation Month. Pictured below with Mayor Mooney is Water Services Director Gary Mechler.

6:41 p.m.

Cleft & Craniofacial Awareness Month

Mayor Mooney proclaimed July as Cleft & Craniofacial Awareness Month.

6:48 p.m.

Historical Markers 101 and 102

The Historic Preservation Committee presented historical markers to the owners of residences at 602 West Dexter St. and 805 Hawthorn St.

The Mathews house on West Dexter was built in the 1920s by Fred and Vera Dean Brison. Fred Brison was a professor in the Texas A&M Horticulture Department and was College Station’s mayor pro tem from 1971-74.

The Hindman House on Hawthorn was built in 1957 by E.H. Andrew, an A&M electric engineering professor. It has been the home of several A&M faculty members, among others.

The city’s Historical Marker Program began in 1991 and has led to markers being awarded to 12 businesses and more than 100 homes. Structures must be at least 50 years old to qualify.

Here’s the PowerPoint presentation:

6:54 p.m.

Hear Visitors

One person spoke during Hear Visitors when citizens might address the council on any item that doesn’t appear on the posted agenda.

  • Councilwoman Elianor Vessali recognized Marine Capt. Paul C. Alaniz as part of the Fallen Heroes Project. The 32-year-old Corpus Christi native died on Jan. 26, 2005, in a helicopter crash in Miramar, Calif.

6:55 p.m.

Consent Agenda

The council voted unanimously to approve the entire consent agenda:

  • A $40,000 change order to the contract with Azteca Systems for implementation of premium licensing the Public Works, Water, and Parks and Recreation departments.
  • A $403,137 contract with Musco Sports Lighting for LED lighting upgrades at the Bee Creek Park ballfields.
  • A $538,798.24 contract with Jamail and Smith Construction for improvements to Gabbard and Thomas parks.
  • A $261,996.39 contract with Dura-Last for roofing services.
  • A $285,675 contract with Johnson & Pace for engineering services related to the Fleet Fuel System Rehabilitation Project.
  • A $193,342 contract with KIT Professionals for design and construction services for the FM2818 Utility Relocations Project.
  • Final payment of $194,050.05 under the relocation reimbursement agreement with Explorer Pipeline Co.

6:59 p.m.

Mills Park Easement

After a public hearing, the council voted unanimously to abandon a public utility easement at 4501 Mills Park Circle to allow for development.

Here’s the PowerPoint presentation:

7:36 p.m.

White’s Creek Rezoning

After public hearings, the council approved a request to change both the land use and zoning from Estate to Suburban Commercial for about 1.3 acres southwest of the intersection of Greens Prairie Road West and White’s Creek Lane. The changes will allow for small-scale commercial development.

The vote was 6-1 for the land use change, with Councilman Bob Brick voted against the motion. The vote in favor of the rezoning was unanimous.

Here’s the PowerPoint presentation:

7:38 p.m.

Northeast Sewer Line Phase 2

The council voted unanimously to approve a $2.35 million contract with Elliott Construction for the Northeast Sanitary Sewer Trunk Line Phase 2 Project that runs from just north of Raintree Park through the city’s greenway property, east of Wilderness Drive and ends at the Carters Creek Wastewater Treatment Plant.

Here’s the PowerPoint presentation:

7:40 p.m.

Rock Prairie Management District No. 2

The council voted unanimously to appoint Hays Glover, Uri Geva, and Mark Lindemulder to the board of directors for Rock Prairie Management District No. 2. The terms end June 1, 2023.

Glover and Geva are current directors, while Lindemulder replaces outgoing Director Randall Rother.

7:43 p.m.

The council discussed and reviewed future agenda items. Mayor Mooney adjourned the regular meeting.

The workshop will resume.

8:07 p.m.

Citizen Survey Results

The council reviewed the results of the 2019 citizen satisfaction survey conducted in April by National Service Research. Participants rated various city services, quality of life issues, community characteristics, and ranked their priorities. 

Here’s the PowerPoint presentation:

8:11 p.m.

Mayor Mooney adjourned the workshop after the council discussed its calendar and received committee reports.

The council meets again on Thursday, July 11.

 

 


About the Blogger

Colin Killian (@ColinKillian) has been with the City of College Station since 2010 after serving 23 years as associate media relations director for the Texas A&M Athletics Department. Killian has also worked as a reporter and editor for the Corpus Christi Caller-Times and Lewisville News. A native of Hobbs, N.M., he graduated from Texas Tech with a bachelor’s degree in journalism/political science.


 

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5 things to watch at Thursday’s city council meetings

By Colin Killian, Public Communications Manager

The College Station City Council gathers Thursday at city hall for its workshop (about 5 p.m.) and regular (6 p.m.) meetings.

Here are five items to watch:

  1. YMCA: In the workshop, the council will hear a presentation about a possible YMCA facility in the College Station area.
  2. Citizen Survey Results: In another workshop presentation, the council will receive the results of the 2019 citizen satisfaction survey conducted in April by National Service Research.
  3. Park Improvements: As part of the consent agenda, the council will consider a $538,800 contract for improvements at Gabbard and Thomas Parks. The Gabbard project includes a new playground, surfacing, and a shade structure. The Thomas project includes a new play unit and surfacing on the south end and new surfacing and swings on the north end.
  4. Greens Prairie Rezoning: After public hearings, the commission will consider two items changing the land use and zoning from Estate to Suburban Commercial for about 1.3 acres southwest of the intersection of Greens Prairie Road West and White’s Creek Lane. The changes would allow for small-scale commercial development.
  5. Northeast Sewer Line Phase 2: The council will consider a $2.35 million contract with Elliott Construction for the Northeast Sanitary Sewer Trunk Line Phase 2 Project that runs from just north of Raintree Park through the city’s greenway property, east of Wilderness Drive, and ends at the Carters Creek Wastewater Treatment Plant.

Related Links:                                                                 

 


About the Blogger

Colin Killian (@ColinKillian) has been with the City of College Station since 2010 after serving 23 years as associate media relations director for the Texas A&M Athletics Department. Killian has also worked as a reporter and editor for the Corpus Christi Caller-Times and Lewisville News. A native of Hobbs, N.M., he graduated from Texas Tech with a bachelor’s degree in journalism/political science.


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Why our citizen survey is worth your time and effort

By Bryan C. Woods, City Manager

Few things annoy me more than reaching into my mailbox after a long day and finding junk mail or some long, tedious survey sent from some political party or group. Many of these surveys have no tangible benefit and, if you’re like me, you promptly file them in the nearest recycling bin.

The City of College Station’s 2019 Citizen Survey, which was mailed to about 8,000 randomly selected College Station addresses, is not one of those surveys.

Why is this particular survey worth your time and effort? The answer is simple: you’re helping us determine the best and most efficient use of your hard-earned tax dollars.

For us to compile accurate information, we need a high level of participation. As we move into our Fiscal Year 2020 budget process this summer, it’s imperative that we understand your preferences and what you think should be our priorities. The survey data will help us responsibly and effectively plan for the future while prioritizing our existing needs.

With our high rate of growth expected to continue, it’s crucial that we base our decisions on the best available information.

If you didn’t receive a mailed survey, I encourage you to participate in the online survey. The individual surveys are completely confidential and take only a few minutes to complete. The cut-off date is Tuesday, April 30, and we hope to have the results in hand sometime in June. You can email questions to survey@cstx.gov.

Take the Survey

Since surveys help us better understand your desires, they are the key to improving our performance and providing better value for your tax dollars. Our 2019 citizen survey is among the most productive ways you can participate in your local government.

Related Link:

 


About the Blogger

Bryan Woods has been College Station’s city manager since December 2018. He came from the city of New Braunfels, where he served as capital programs manager and then assistant city manager from 2014-2018. Bryan holds a bachelor’s degree in construction engineering technology from the University of Southern Mississippi, and a master’s from University of Missouri-Truman School of Public Affairs. He also serves as a civil engineer corps officer in the United States Navy Reserve.


 

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Citizen satisfaction survey open though April

By Colin Killian, Public Communications Manager

The City of College Station’s 2019 citizen survey will soon start arriving in some residents’ mailboxes. The city will use the survey to assess and prioritize a broad range of services and needs.

Any College Station resident – regardless of whether they received a mailed survey – is welcome to complete the online survey. Responses are limited to one per household. The anonymous survey takes about 15 minutes to complete.


Take the Survey


“With our rapid growth, it’s vital for us to receive feedback from our citizens to help us responsibly plan for College Station’s future and prioritize our needs,” City Manager Bryan Woods said. “We genuinely value our residents’ input, and a high level of participation will provide us with accurate survey results.”

Administered by Fort Worth-based National Service Research, the surveys are being mailed to 8,000 randomly selected households. Survey participants will rate various city services, quality of life issues and community characteristics. The survey closes April 30, with the final report available in June.

NSR also conducted College Station’s 2012 and 2016 surveys.

For more information, contact the city at 979-764-3768 or survey@cstx.gov.

 


About the Blogger

Colin Killian (@ColinKillian) has been with the City of College Station since 2010 after serving 23 years as associate media relations director for the Texas A&M Athletics Department. Killian has also worked as a reporter and editor for the Corpus Christi Caller-Times and Lewisville News. A native of Hobbs, N.M., he graduated from Texas Tech with a bachelor’s degree in journalism/political science.


 

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