The City of Gainesville has expanded dataGNV, part of its online open data portal, to include data collected during its recently completed Neighbor Survey. Neighbors can locate survey data and analysis reports through the new Neighbor Feedback button on dataGNV.
The survey was designed to gather input from neighbors to improve city programs and services and help determine long-term planning and investment decisions. The city secured ETC Institute of Olathe, Kansas to administer the survey earlier this year. ETC compiled the survey data in a 157-page comprehensive-findings report and issued two documents of cross-tabular data (by key demographics and by district). ETC data can be accessed through the dataGNV page.
“The portal is designed with transparency of survey data for neighbors in mind,” said City Manager Lee Feldman. “In the future, data from annual surveys will be added to dataGNV to help us better understand the priorities and concerns of our neighbors over time,” he said.
Earlier this year, more than 7,000 neighbors from the city’s four commission districts were asked to rate the quality of city programs and services. A total of 1,042 neighbors responded by mail or online. At least 250 responses were obtained from each district. Of those surveyed, most neighbors responded with a high opinion of Gainesville in these areas: healthcare; educational opportunities; public safety; mobility; parks, recreation and cultural affairs; and quality of city services.
Gainesville was rated as an “excellent” or “good” place to live by 83% of those who shared an opinion. “Excellent” or “good” also was used by 79% to describe Gainesville as a place to raise children, and by 71% as a place to work.
Notable was feedback collected about the city’s overall response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Of surveyed neighbors who shared an opinion, 64% were “very satisfied” or “satisfied” with the city’s response, compared to 35% with the state’s coronavirus response.
Respondents also listed priorities for city leaders to consider during the next two years. For example, neighbors indicated that quality of life, including overall cost of living, should be addressed. The availability of employment opportunities, electricity service and water service were also specified as priorities by neighbors.
“Next year, we want to gauge sentiment about the city’s emergency preparedness efforts as well as get feedback from neighbors about city policies,” said Feldman.