The city is working on its biannual citizen survey and focusing efforts on improving the response rate.
Georgetown has partnered with Texas State University since 2016 to conduct the survey, which asks residents four to eight questions on each of the following topics:
- Quality of life
- Public safety
- Service quality of utilities
- Service quality of parks and the library
- Service utilization
- Media usage
- Perception of government
- Employee interaction
- Perception of safety
- Value for taxes
The survey is directly mailed to a random sample of households—addresses are selected from utility billing addresses, Longoria said. Later the survey is opened up to the entire community online, and IP addresses are tracked to ensure one person does not submit multiple responses.
The survey asks some demographic questions in an attempt to determine if it is representative of Georgetown’s population. Longoria said people living in apartments and low-income households have low response rates, thus those populations are underrepresented in results.
As an attempted remedy, this year the envelopes will have text on the front indicating an important survey is inside, Longoria said.
Also, after the survey process is complete, Longoria will work with city staff to identify a focus group.
“This is something we’re doing to enhance the learning experience for the students that are part of this project,” he said.
The group could consist of residents from a particular part of town, or renters or people who live on Williams Drive—another low-response rate area, he said.
“Or we can zero in on a set of questions and get a better sense of what people mean when they rate a quality of service as high, for example,” he said. “What is it they care about, and why is it high?”
The survey process will follow this general timeline:
March: Texas State finalizes survey instrument
Early April: survey is mailed
Late April: online survey link is made available
May: results are finalized
June: focus groups is formed
Summer: submission of full report and presentation of findings made to council