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Editorial: City survey

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

The city of Cape Girardeau has commissioned a Colorado-based research firm to conduct a customer satisfaction survey of 1,800 city residents and 1,000 businesses early next year. The three- to five-page mailed survey will be sent to a random sample of residents in all six wards and businesses throughout the city.

The firm, National Research Center, was chosen to conduct the survey based on its ability to scientifically collect data and benchmark findings with comparable cities, according to city manager Scott Meyer. To date the research firm has administered the survey more than 200 times in 41 states.

Meyer also noted the benefit of benchmark comparisons when dealing with specific departments.

According to Meyer, the focus in the survey will be on the city's customer service. However, Shannon Hayden, a senior research associate with NRC, said there could also be questions about quality of life, transportation, housing, public safety, parks, culture and civic activity.

One concern with the study is its cost: $20,000. Based on the amount of work, analysis and the expense of paper surveys, the cost appears to be a legitimate one. However, some may argue that now is not the time to spend this much money on a city survey. It's a catch-22 situation. On one hand the price seams steep. However, if the city is serious, as they say they are, about making services more businesslike, it's important to gain feedback from residents.

If you are selected to complete the survey, please do so. Your responses will help city leaders determine what can be done to better serve all residents.


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