NSB phone call

Published on April 15th, 2013 | by NSB Observer

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Expect a Call from the City

It’s been four years since the last time the City of New Smyrna Beach surveyed its residents. In that time, much has changed. City staff has been reduced by 20 percent, and some services have been cut to reduce the budget by 30 percent.

“We’re in a different place in 2013,” said New Smyrna Beach City Manager Pam Brangaccio. “We want to know how our residents feel about the state of the City in 2013 and what projects – if any – they will support moving forward.”

Using residential landline telephone numbers within the city limits, next week surveyors will begin conducting calls between 3-9 p.m. on weekdays, 9 a.m. – 9 p.m. on Saturdays, and from noon-9 p.m. on Sundays. The eight-minute survey includes questions on satisfaction with services provided by City departments and overall satisfaction with quality of life. Callers also will gauge willingness to adjust taxes to fund capital improvement projects or restore service levels cut over the past four years.

“We realize many people don’t like to receive telephone calls and be asked to answer a few questions,” Brangaccio said. “But this is important to not only the City but also to our residents. We want their input as we prepare the budget for the next fiscal year.”

Responses will be anonymous, Brangaccio said. That helps to ensure callers are comfortable providing open responses. Those who receive a call and do not want to participate may opt out at the beginning of the call.

When the New Smyrna Beach City Commission begins budget discussions this summer, they will use the survey’s results to guide decisions, Brangaccio added. The initial report will be available in June followed by a formal presentation in August.

The survey will be conducted by the Department of Sociology’s Institute for Social and Behavioral Sciences at the University of Central Florida (UCF), Brangaccio said.  UCF also conducted the 2009 New Smyrna Beach citizen’s survey.

To ensure statistically significant results, at least 300 citizens will be surveyed, according to Dr. Jim Wright, UCF Sociology Department provost distinguished research professor and internationally known expert on survey design and evaluation research.

The cost of the survey is estimated at $10,000 which will be paid through the City’s general fund.

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