Montgomery County Executive Isiah Leggett and Montgomery County Council President Phil Andrews announced that, starting this week, the County will launch its every-two-years survey to gauge residents’ satisfaction with their local government, its services and their quality of life. The 2009 Resident Survey will be sent to 3,000 randomly selected County households and participation will be completely anonymous.
“To give everyone a seat at the table, my administration wants to make sure we know what residents think about their local government and their quality of life,” said Leggett. “Our residents’ opinions are very important to us. With the 2009 Resident Survey, we’ll get a rating of County services and find out more about what is working well and what is not. We’ll be able to compare with the results of two years ago. The results will be especially helpful, as we start our fiscal year 2011 budget process, in deciding how to most effectively allocate our resources to meet our residents’ needs – even more important at a time when County resources are limited and hard choices have to be made.”
To encourage maximum participation in the survey, postcards will be mailed tomorrow to the 3,000 randomly selected residents -- notifying them that they will be asked to participate in the survey. The first questionnaires will be mailed September 18, along with prepaid return envelopes. County officials expect the results of the survey to be available in December.
“Prior to 2007, we had not conducted a survey of County residents in more than 12 years, and we learned quite a lot about what our residents are thinking,” said County Council President Phil Andrews. “This second survey will be even more important because it not only will help us establish trends, it also will give us an indication of how the economic downturn of the past two years has affected our residents and where we should re-direct some of our efforts.”
In addition to English, the survey will be available in Spanish, Chinese, Korean, French and Vietnamese. Information in each of these languages about receiving a translated version of the survey will be included in the cover letter.
The 35-question survey asks residents to rate how they feel about their services; how much they use existing facilities; whether they take advantage of County programs; their impression of County employees; and how well the County communicates with its residents. This type of survey was last conducted by the County in 2007, when Leggett and then-Council President Marilyn Praisner reinstituted the practice, which had last been done in 1994.
The survey is again being conducted by the National Research Center (NRC), based in Boulder, Colorado. In the last seven years, the company has conducted more than 300 resident surveys for cities and counties ranging in size from 4,000 to over one million residents, including the City of Rockville and the City of Takoma Park.
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