Palo Alto households to be surveyed

Annual Citizen Survey measures city services, residents' satisfaction

In the next two weeks, a random sample of 1,200 Palo Alto households will be asked to judge the quality and usefulness of city services.

The Palo Alto City Auditor's office will mail out Palo Alto's 2010 Citizen Survey, which officials expect will provide information on the performance of city services, assess trends in government efficiency and effectiveness and improve city accountability to the public, according to City Auditor Lynda Brouchoud.

The National Research Center will administer the survey, which is a derivation of a National Citizen Survey, in order to maintain consistency that can be used to measure trends and effectiveness across jurisdictions, she said.

The auditor's office will publish the survey results in the city's ninth annual "Service Efforts and Accomplishments (SEA) Report," scheduled for release in January 2011.

City officials are asking persons who receive the survey to complete it and send it in to help officials develop the most accurate picture of the state of city services on the public.

For six consecutive years, the Association of Government Accountants has awarded Palo Alto national awards for excellence in SEA-performance reporting.

Sue Dremann

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Like this comment
Posted by Make it relevant
a resident of South of Midtown
on Aug 15, 2010 at 12:15 pm

It would be more useful if the city added questions of local concern, not just national questions, which would add very little if anything to the cost of the survey.
For example, questions about HSR or big development or traffic.
As it is, the survey is used by the auditor as PR for the city. Look how great we are. This seems an odd position for an auditor who is supposed to look for what needs fixing and improvement in city operations.

Like this comment
Posted by Kate
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Aug 15, 2010 at 1:40 pm

Random sample? What a hoot. I think it is very carefully selected to give the city top marks.

Like this comment
Posted by Resident
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Aug 15, 2010 at 1:50 pm

Hopefully a mail in survey will be better than a phone survey. Last time we got the call, the wrong person in the household was asked the questions.

Like this comment
Posted by Feeling good!!
a resident of Meadow Park
on Aug 15, 2010 at 4:16 pm

Wake up folks, this survey is being conducted just to make you think the City is interested in your opinions. It won't make any difference to the way they conduct business in Palo Alto.

What can they do with the opinions of 1,200 residents, how about the opinions of the 58,800 of us that won't be questioned. It's a con job and a great way to spend your tax dollars.

PA Weekly says: "For six consecutive years, the Association of Government Accountants has awarded Palo Alto national awards for excellence in SEA-performance reporting." Now I see it's all about winning awards, that makes sense.

Like this comment
Posted by Inconvenient Truth
a resident of Downtown North
on Aug 15, 2010 at 5:55 pm

Spned the money instead to fill the potholes!

Sorry, but further commenting on this topic has been closed.

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Short story writers wanted!

The 33rd Annual Palo Alto Weekly Short Story Contest is now accepting entries for Adult, Young Adult (15-17) and Teen (12-14) categories. Send us your short story (2,500 words or less) and entry form by March 29. First, Second and Third Place prizes awarded in each category.

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