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Digital survey asks for the community’s concerns, priorities

Our Town with William Kelly: Digital survey asks for the community’s concerns, priorities

Are you concerned about traffic congestion in the town, or the quality of your drinking water?

Do you have trouble finding a good parking space? Are you concerned about periodic flooding of the Lake Trail?

Now is the time for people who live or work in the town to share their thoughts and concerns about Palm Beach and be heard by town leaders.

The Strategic Planning Board, chaired by Mayor Danielle Moore, has developed a digital survey containing up to 50 questions about many aspects of town life.

The “community survey” was sent Thursday to the approximately 8,700 addresses on the town’s email alert list. The list includes full- and part-time residents, businesses and visitors to the town.

While resident participation is obviously important, the town wants the survey to have a broad reach, so all recipients are encouraged to respond, Moore said Friday.

That includes both newer and more established residents, who may have different perspectives, Moore said.

“The staff has worked so hard to make sure the survey is reflective of our community and that it will give us great feedback,” she said.

The survey only takes a few minutes to complete and can be done anywhere at any time, Assistant Town Manager Carolyn Stone said.

It is available in English and Spanish and can also be accessed on the town’s website.
Most questions are multiple choice. There is also space at the end for respondents to comment about whatever they wish.

The survey was developed with assistance from town consultant Trainnovations of West Palm Beach. It’s interactive in the sense that the questions are customized depending on the respondents’ answers. For example, if the respondent says he or she has moved away from town, the next question will ask them why they left.

The survey asks the respondents’ age, gender, race, education level, marital and employment status, if they are a U.S. resident and whether they have a disability.

Other questions fall within topics including housing, quality of life, transportation, public safety, environmental impacts and home rule.

Stone said the town is sending emails to various board and commission members and civic groups to boost awareness and encourage the best response rate possible.

The town needs a minimum of 400 responses to get a good sense of the community’s concerns and priorities, she said. “But the more data we gather, the better it is,” Stone said.

The nine-member planning board’s next meeting will be in September, when Trainnovations will help guide it through the survey responses.

The survey data will help inform the board as it proceeds toward its ultimate goal – to develop a new long-term strategic plan for the town and submit it for Town Council approval early next year (the town’s first and only existing strategic plan was approved in 2003 and updated in 2012).

Moore said the survey will help to ensure that the priorities set forth in the new plan are in sync with the desires of the people who live, work or visit here.

“It’s an opportunity for our town to formulate its direction for the next decade,” Moore said. “That’s exciting.”

Take the survey HERE.


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