How satisfied are you with city services? What services warrant the most emphasis from city leaders? What’s your overall perception of Houston? City Controller Annise Parker is giving you the opportunity to answer those questions and many more through a detailed city-wide citizen survey. “City government is accountable to the taxpayers,” said Controller Parker. “There is no better way to determine if we are meeting your expectations than to ask.”
Interviewers, including several who are bilingual, are placing calls to a random sample of approximately 35,500 Houstonians. The goal is to obtain 200 respondents in each of the city’s nine geographic city council districts, for a minimum of 1800 completed questionnaires. Residents also have the option of taking the survey online by visiting the controller’s Web site at www.houstoncontroller.org. The online version is available in both English and Spanish.
“There are questions about everything from the quality of police services to the city’s airports,” Parker said. “If you happen to be one of the residents in our random sample, I hope you’ll take the time to complete the survey. If you are not in our random sample, please take advantage of the opportunity to take the survey online. The information gathered will be important to the city’s ongoing effort to provide the most efficient and cost-effective services possible during a time of budget constraints caused by the economic downturn.”
The survey is modeled after a similar poll performed annually by the City of Kansas City for the last nine years. Jefferson Wells and Decision Information Resources, Inc. are under contract to perform the survey. Jefferson Wells is a worldwide professional services firm with a local presence. DIR is a minority-owned business and certified Historically Underutilized Business. Since 1984, the company has provided government, private, nonprofit, and philanthropic organizations the research, evaluation, and technical support that they require for making informed decisions, measuring the effectiveness of programs, and planning strategies. The company’s previous clients include the City of Houston, the State of Texas, several federal agencies and M-D Anderson Cancer Center.
DIR will conduct the survey using its Houston-based computer-assisted telephone interviewing center. The results are expected to be available mid-summer.