City of DeSoto Discusses Survey Results
In an online presentation Thursday morning, DeSoto Communications Manager Matt Smith introduced DeSoto Deputy City Manager Kristoff Bauer to discuss the results of the city’s first resident survey.
The survey was administered by ETC Institute, an organization that Smith investigated. According to his research, he felt like they were an excellent choice for the project.
The survey was administered to residents of the City of DeSoto during the summer of 2020. Bauer related that the survey would be redone in two years. This will provide an excellent way for city personnel to gauge how they have done in answering any citizen concerns.
The purpose of the survey was to gather resident input and feedback on City programs and services. The information provided by residents will be used to improve existing programs and services and help determine long-range planning and investment decisions.
The entire survey is on the city’s website and can be viewed at https://www.facebook.com/desototx/videos/29916040138042. The online questionnaire and charts take up 122 pages on the website. It is very informative and a great resource for citizens to know more about their city. It’s also a resource for other city governments to examine and consider what to do in their city.
Bauer noted that the city did very well with communication, but attention in the future needed to be devoted to some other areas where the score was low. He said his hypothesis is that this was due to citizens answering some questions that they did not know or answered that they were neutral.
90% Residents Said They Feel Safe During The Day
Smith related that in many American cities people responded that they did not feel safe. He said this was not the case in DeSoto. Bauer responded that the score reflected that 90% of the people responded they feel safe in DeSoto during the day and over 70% feel safe at night.
An area that did not score highly was traveling by bicycle. “That is not surprising,” Bauer stated. “There are a limited amount of sidewalks and not too many bike lanes here.”
Parks in DeSoto registered at 50% satisfaction in the survey. So this is an area that will be looked at in more depth during city planning. Smith interjected that DeSoto has a national CAPRA accreditation in parks so the response is a bit surprising. “From a parks standard, we are doing things right, but the whole thing is serving our public so that is what we need to get down to.”
NRPA’s Commission for Accreditation of Park and Recreation Agencies (CAPRA) provides quality assurance and quality improvement of accredited park and recreation agencies throughout the United States by providing agencies with a management system of best practices. CAPRA is the only national accreditation of park and recreation agencies and is a valuable measure of an agency’s overall quality of operation, management, and service to the community. Achieving CAPRA accreditation is the best way to demonstrate that your agency and your staff provide your community with the highest level of service. There are currently 186 accredited park and recreation agencies in the United States.
How Does DeSoto Feel About The Police Department?
Mr. Smith then discussed the police issue and how satisfied citizens were with the police in DeSoto. This was somewhat of a risk in that there were so many problems with people rioting throughout the country regarding police, but overall the results in DeSoto were pleasing. Bauer added, most communities don’t ask questions regarding their police department. In DeSoto, city leaders felt it would be important to ask them. He said this was an area where there was a large percentage of “neutral” responses, so some follow up questions were asked.
Again, as noted, the City will repeat the survey in two years to gauge how they’ve improved and where to continue to focus resources.