The City of Shawnee is asking residents to participate in The National Citizen Survey (NCS), which is being distributed randomly to many Shawnee homes.

The City of Shawnee is asking residents to participate in The National Citizen Survey (NCS), which is being distributed randomly to many Shawnee homes.

The survey is designed to provide a baseline of how the city government is serving residents, to gauge perceptions of the city and to make comparisons with peer cities.

The city contracted with National Research Center, Inc. to participate in the NCS, an instrument that was developed in partnership with the International City/County Management Association (ICMA) in 2001 to provide cities with a low-cost, high-quality method to conduct market research.

“The city worked with the NRC to customize the survey questions, which fall into eight key areas of community livability: safety, mobility, natural environment, built environment, economy, recreation and wellness, education and enrichment and community engagement,” City Manager Justin Erickson said.

Surveys should be returned by late December. All responses are completely anonymous.

The City of Shawnee intends to use the survey to review city services and projects and plan for the future.

“Citizen participation is very much appreciated and your feedback will help Shawnee make decisions that positively impact the community,” Erickson said.

City leaders were supportive of participating in the survey at their Sept. 19 City Commission meeting.

Erickson authorized up to $25,000 to be spent on the survey.

The results are expected to be used extensively for both internal operations and for strategic planning purposes, Erickson said.

The endeavor technically did not require Commission approval, but Erickson wanted to provide the board an opportunity to weigh in on the item.

The NCS was among the first scientific surveys developed to gather resident opinion on a range of community issues and has been used in more than 350 jurisdictions across 46 states.

Shawnee's survey centers on community livability and includes questions about the quality of life in the community, local policies, demographics, rating of local government services and resident use of

services.

The confidential responses of a random and scientific sample of 2,200 households will be weighted and analyzed.

The NCS is considered a high-quality cost-effective scientific survey of resident opinion and an important benchmarking tool that allows for comparison among communities. Communities using the NCS have reported that the tool helped improve performance, strengthen communications with community stakeholders and identify clear priorities for use in goal and budget setting.

You can reach Vicky O. Misa at (405) 214-3962.