November 2014 home page

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Are You Being Served?
Anthony Corso | Stratford Court


The City Council has engaged in lengthy discussions about the value, design and administration of a Citizen Satisfaction Survey. Supporters of a survey maintain that it would help in evaluating the performance of city services and programs, assist in making funding decisions and be an invaluable device in city management and administration.

On the other hand, opponents note that the last City survey, conducted in 2006, interviewed 245 randomly selected residents and found that 96 percent of respondents felt that the quality of life in Del Mar was excellent or good. Only 4 percent said the quality was poor or just fair. Mayor Lee Haydu commented, “We need a survey however, the one from 2006 made for interesting reading but really didn’t tell me anything other than everything is great.”

Such variations of opinion contributed to numerous rounds of discussion and a variety of revisions. Of particular concern was the cost of a survey, the questions to be explored, who would conduct the interview and how it would be evaluated.
The discussion ended on October 20th when the City Council unanimously approved a draft survey. What it accepted is a twenty-two question instrument measuring the city’s performance with a range of administrative services, the quality of what is provided as well as the need for revisions or additional assistance and programs.

The Council agreed to hire a consultant and awarded a contract for $6,400 to Probolsky Research to develop, administer, and summarize the survey with city staff.

An internet-based survey will commence in November, following the election, and be conducted over a period of four weeks. The staff will present the results to the Council in early 2015.



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