If you're one of those types that hates annoying phone calls about... whatever, then March is not going to be your month. The City of Guelph will be ringing hundreds of people across the Royal City next month to learn from them what they think the City's priorities for the next four years should be. To those of you either too jaded or too lazy to write letters, make phone calls, go to public meetings, or even vote, this is your time to shine. (But you'll probably hang up before you even learn what the call is about.) Here's the City's press release:
GUELPH, ON, February 25, 2011 – Starting in early March, phones will ring in hundreds of Guelph households as the City of Guelph surveys residents on their priorities and aspirations for their community over the next four years.
The survey results will be used to update the City's Strategic Plan, The City that Makes a Difference, a document that guides the City's goals, objectives, and priorities. They will also provide Council and staff with statistically-valid information about the community's views.
Environics Research Group, one of Canada's leading public research firms, will conduct the survey. President and CEO of Environics Barry Watson provided Council with an overview of the survey's process and content at a meeting February 23rd. He explained to Council, “A scientific survey is the only way to get an accurate, representative picture of what the public thinks.”
Other steps in the updating of the strategic plan will include workshops with Council and the City's executive team to revise the mission statement, set priorities, review services and agree upon strategic initiatives for this term of Council. Workshops will be led by Chris Bart, Principal, Lead Professor and Founder of The Director's College and Professor of Strategy and Governance at McMaster University's DeGroote School of Business.
“A key focus of this process will be revising and refining the City of Guelph’s mission statement to more clearly define the City’s core business,” said Bart. At the February 23rd meeting, Council and the City’s Executive Team agreed to conduct a complete review of services and programs in the context of the City’s core business.
In June, the City will seek the community's input on the draft revised strategic plan through a series of public meetings.
About the Survey
The 10-minute survey will be conducted in English and three other languages among a representative sample of 600 residents aged 18 and older. The sample will yield an overall margin of error of +/- 4.0 percentage points, 19 times out of 20. Questions on age, gender, education, income, ethnicity, and ward will help ensure the demographics of the sample mirror Guelph's population as a whole.
The City of Guelph last conducted a public opinion survey of this size in 2008. That survey led to new customer service standards, a corporate communications plan, and reviews of sidewalk snow clearing and building services, among other initiatives.