MADRAS, OR -- Madras City Councilors will hear what residents think about the city and the job they’re doing, Tuesday night. Sara Puddy, with the city, says citizen input surveys were sent to over 4,000 addresses in the Madras zip code, in February. "We ended up with just shy of a thousand survey responses. It’s only a quarter return, but in the grand scheme of survey responses, it’s actually a pretty healthy response; especially for a first try. It not only far exceeded our elected officials’ expectations; it hit my expectation right on the head." She tells KBND News, "We hit about 20% of our area population; I’m happy with those results. That to me says - when we’re considering the survey results, we can say, ‘we have enough data here to say that this is actual representative of a certain number of our population'."
Puddy spearheaded the effort and says questions were focused on residents' perceptions, "Without assuming that the community knows why we do what we do, we started with the mindset of, ‘let’s try and get an idea of what the community’s perception is.’ Let’s start from square one and say, ‘why do people live in Madras? What is it that brings people to Madras? Why are people recreating here? Why are people in our school district? Why do people get healthcare services here?’." She says the results will help guide future city decisions on priorities, spending and outreach.
The synopsis of the results is back about a month earlier than expected. Puddy says, "We intentionally put this together and got it done ahead of schedule, in the event there was any low-hanging fruit of the survey results that we could quickly incorporate into our annual strategic plan, which gets adopted at the next April meeting, on the 24." She would not reveal any of the results, but says there are several opportunities for "low hanging" fruit to impact the strategic plan discussion. The survey presentation will be available on the city’s website after Tuesday's Council meeting.