San Marcos Mercury | Local News from San Marcos and Hays County, Texas

February 15th, 2013
City to survey residents

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STAFF REPORT

San Marcos officials will conduct a community survey next week with the assistance of ETC Institute, a national research company, to gauge the level of satisfaction residents have with city services and learn their perceptions of the community.

“This survey gives the community an opportunity to rate the work that city government is doing and tell us about their priorities,” City Manager Jim Nuse said. “It will also give the city council valuable feedback as they make decisions on the coming year’s budget.”

More than 400 randomly selected households in San Marcos will be surveyed by mail or by telephone this month. Residents receiving the survey by mail are asked to return their questionnaire in the postage paid envelope.

Other households will be called by telephone and interviewed in English or Spanish by ETC Institute staff. The interviews will last about 20 minutes.

Participants will be asked to rate the quality of city services, the most important services, how safe they feel in San Marcos, perceptions of the City of San Marcos, and satisfaction or dissatisfaction with a variety of services provided by the city. They will also have an opportunity to rate their satisfaction with the city government’s level of transparency.

The survey also will ask about their expectations for service levels, issues facing the city in the next five years, how they feel about strategic initiatives, and where the city should invest tax dollars. The survey asks for demographic information, with individual responses kept confidential.

ETC Institute will compile the responses and prepare a final report, with a presentation to the city council anticipated in March.

Responses to the survey will be compared to regional and national benchmarks to see how San Marcos services rate with other cities.

ETC Institute is a market research firm based in Olathe, KS. Founded in 1982, the company has completed research projects for clients in 46 states and 300 cities and counties. The company specializes in market research and customer satisfaction surveys for local governments.

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8 thoughts on “City to survey residents

  1. Sad that they are using a survey research company from out of state, when there is a nationally-known Austin-based company that has an office in San Marcos. Would have been nice for that business to be directed to a local call center, in my opinion.

  2. We can go a lot further with that line of thought….

    How many construction jobs are given to out of town/out of state companies rather than locals?

    How many consulting gigs are given to out of town companies rather than locals?

    Why does the City bend over backwards to bring in “national chain” businesses but offer little to no incentives to locally-owned businesses?

    When it comes right down to it, our City (and most cities) do a piss-poor job of supporting local businesses.

  3. Surveys such as this really give us very little useful information. It appears to be mostly a self-selecting study. Random selection without sophistication is risky. What if all the letters and phone calls go mostly to only one part of town? What about the growing number of cell phone users who don’t have land lines and whose numbers are unavailable? How many people who, like me, use caller ID extensively to shut out callers they don’t recognize? It’s difficult to see how this survey can be relied upon to “give the city council valuable feedback as they make decisions on the coming year’s budget.”

  4. Clearly, surveys, workshops, open houses and public hearings are a waste of time. This must be some criteria for government funding. What a joke. They don’t even listen to packed halls of 200 to 300 residents. Have fun with your CYours survey.

  5. perception of san marcos….if the university wants it, they get it. the rest of san marcos has not evolved in ten years… when did san marcos last bring in a large business for the good of the community, when did the university last get what they want. the city has been let down tremendoulsy in the last 10 years. now they have voted for themselves the ability to rezone ‘on the fly’ to pass anything they want without public input/resistance. way to go, san marcos.

  6. OMG, I totally agree w/ Dano, this is very disturbing 😉

    Survey, smurvey, I doubt if you have spoken at City Hall in the last year you will get one.

    I’ve been asked by high ups what the citizen’s perception of the city is, so I guess that counts as my survey ~ they think ya’ll are not to be trusted AT ALL and the Master Plan charade is not helping.

    cole, I hope MANY will be at Tuesday’s CC meeting at 6:00 and that many will sign up in advance to speak. It is ALARMING that our PZ so casually approved zoning waivers w/ such lose wording that it could include Multi-family.

    Thankfully enough fuss was made that the CC decided to limit the type of businesses to receive waivers to industrial and heavy commercial yet they did NOT put limits on what type of land was open for these total zoning waivers. We need to insist that they add that no zoning waivers be offered in single family zoned areas, environmentally sensitive areas, and we need to tell them Jim Nuse should have kept the super majority CC vote for zoning waivers. It we can’t get a super majority vote to waive zoning, then it’s not significant enough to our economy or safe enough for our community to pass.

  7. Agree with Dano. This city does not do nearly enough to support small, local business. Rents in the San Marcos downtown area are very high, say compared to shop rents in Wimberley where you always find shoppers milling about, dining, socializing, and purchasing items from their many small businesses. I considered opening a small business in downtown San Marcos but there is no parking. What’s the point of opening a shop, doing some advertising, only to get shoppers to drive to the downtown area, circle around three or four times looking for a parking space, and then drive away without even stopping? I can’t tell you how many times I have done just that. To add insult to injury, we now have these massive, unending street closures and construction that have been going on for months and seem to be making no progress and have no end in sight. Those business owners have got to be suffering! We need a downtown parking garage, to clean up and beautify those streets, tax incentives for small local businesses, and events to bring people in to shop. We could get people from within a 300 mile radius driving to San Marcos to spend the weekend in one of our many nice new hotels, shopping local businesses (not just at the outlet mall), dining, enjoying our river and supporting our Bobcat sporting and arts events. People do that in Fredericksburg, and Wimberley…why not San Marcos? San Marcos is a beautiful small town with so much to offer. Let’s clean it up and make it be all that it has the potential to be!

  8. New parking garage at TSU on N. Edward Gary St. is now opened to the public, for a price, I think. 🙂 jlb

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