Taking a survey

Hutchinson is participating in the National Community Survey this year. Residents may take the survey online through Aug. 21.

We hear it all the time from our readers and on social media.

“City Council doesn’t listen.”

“They don’t care what we have to say.”

“I have work and family, how am I supposed to make it to the meetings?”

It’s true, our lives are busy and filled with things that may prevent us from attending City Council meetings. The truth is there is no perfect time to schedule meetings that would be good for every Hutchinson resident. Someone would not be able to attend.

The good news is, people who want to keep up with City Council have the Leader to read. We don’t miss a meeting, and we make sure to cover all of the important news out of City Center.

While the Leader informs readers of what is happening in City Council, how do residents let City Council members know what they are thinking? Yes, we have an opinion page where people may submit letters to the editor with their questions and concerns, but not everyone is comfortable with signing their name to a letter in the paper. And we conduct online polls, but those are unscientific and only for the purpose of creating discussion.

City staff and council members want to hear from residents, and that is why the city is once again participating in the National Community Survey.

“I encourage everyone living in Hutchinson to take the survey. Your feedback is extremely important,” City Administrator Matt Jaunich said in a press release.

The National Community Survey provides baselines of how the city government is serving its residents, to gauge perceptions of the city, and to make comparisons with peer cities. It includes questions about the quality of life in Hutchinson, demographics, local policies, ratings of local government services, and how residents use services. This is the fourth time Hutchinson has participated in the survey, including 2007, 2011 and 2015.

City Council members and city staff use the information from the survey as guidance regarding the policies and practices of the city, as well as to prioritize future projects.

The survey has been sent out to 1,700 random homes. If you received it in the mail, complete the forms and submit them by mail. If you did not receive the survey by mail, there’s more good news. For the first time in Hutchinson’s participation in the survey, residents may go to bit.ly/survey2019hutchinson and complete the survey online.

If you have questions about the survey, email Jaunich at mjaunich@ci.hutchinson.mn.us or call 320-587-5151.

The survey is available online through Wednesday, Aug. 21, so what are you waiting for? The city wants to hear from you, and if you can’t make it to City Council meetings, this is the next best thing. Even if you do regularly attend meetings, participating in this survey is an excellent way to have your voice heard by local leaders.

Brent Schacherer is publisher of the Hutchinson Leader and Litchfield Independent Review.

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