Survey shows matching priorities between city, some Steamboat residents

Advertisement

— According to results from the city’s online “Dollar Game,” the budgeting priorities of many of the residents who took the survey match those of city officials.

That was the message from Steamboat Springs City Manager Jon Roberts to the City Council on Tuesday. The online survey, which ran from Jan. 3 to Jan. 31 on the city’s website, asked respondents to choose which services to fund with only $1 to spend. Each service had a price tag equivalent to its actual cost for city budgeting purposes. Combined, each of the choices added up to $1.42, meaning participants were forced to prioritize spending decisions.

Roberts said he didn’t want to draw a lot of conclusions from the survey, but he offered one to council members.

“What I see here is that our priorities in budgeting dollars match pretty well with the community’s ranking of these,” he said. “In fact, the top 10 items that we budget are almost identical to the top 10 items in this survey. So I think this shows we’ve done a pretty good job of budgeting where the community wants to see dollars budgeted.”

Deputy City Manager Deb Hinsvark, who presented the report, told the City Council that of the 584 unduplicated responses, 506 people chose to fund local fire and emergency services.

Rounding out the top 10 were snowplowing, maintaining trails and open spaces, street and pavement maintenance, Howelsen Hill Ski Area, the Steamboat Springs Police Department, Steamboat Springs Transit’s free local bus service, recreation programs, storm water management and the Steamboat Springs Chamber Resort Association’s summer marketing. Six of the top 10 also were among the most expensive services in the survey.

The group of least-chosen services included funding for Bike Town USA, the three community support coalitions, Mainstreet Steamboat Springs, traffic control, regional bus service and the Tennis Center at Steamboat Springs.

The survey asked for demographic information, which only about half of respondents provided. Of what was provided, 285 said they lived in the city; the best-represented age group was 36 to 45; and the most common income level was between $50,000 and $75,000. An income level in excess of $100,000 was a close second.

City Council member Kenny Reisman asked if there was a way to bring up the results when Steamboat starts drafting its 2013 budget this summer.

But City Council member Sonja Macys cautioned using the survey results because she said they marginalized the segment of the community that doesn’t have access to the Internet.

“I just want to make sure that we’re very clear when we’re using these data to tell a story that the story that is being told by the data is representative of one segment of the community and not the entire community,” she said. “I think it’s important we hear from that segment, but we need to hear from the rest.”

Hinsvark said the survey results soon will be posted to the city’s website.

To reach Jack Weinstein, call 970-871-4203 or email jweinstein@SteamboatToday.com

Comments

callguinness 2 years, 2 months ago

So there were 78 people who wouldn't mind if they fire department didn't show up?

0

livinginthetwilightzone 2 years, 2 months ago

Excuse me Jon Roberts, you actually said, “What I see here is that our priorities in budgeting dollars match pretty well with the community’s ranking of these,” he said. “In fact, the top 10 items that we budget are almost identical to the top 10 items in this survey. So I think this shows we’ve done a pretty good job of budgeting where the community wants to see dollars budgeted.

Were you not one of the 3 or 4 people in the City that was trying to get rid of the EMS service? I was at the January City Council meeting. This survey had the number one community priority as Firefighter/EMS and you have the nerve to say that it matches your priorities. What a crock.

0

mavis 2 years, 2 months ago

Developing a budget around a Stemboat Pilot Survey with a marginal amount of people participating, let alone knowing how many people did it multiple times IS NOT an effective way to develop a budget or bring results into it. It would be like the school board determining funding, or EFB determining funding based off of "comments" on the pilot.
To the School board and the City Council: You people are our PUBLIC representatives, get out there and ask, observe and make INFORMED decisions. You can keep creating private blogs to support your own agendas and individual buisnesses, or you can represent what we need to survive and thrive as a community.
I applaud your time committments and dedication to your "extra' jobs you have been elected for but PLEASE remember they are to make INFORMED, researched and calculated decisions based on the greater need.... NOT your own agenda to increase your individual profits.

0

Scott Wedel 2 years, 2 months ago

I don't recall the budget game being an option to defund the city manager so foolish to think the survey was meaningful. That might have had an unanimous response.

The survey was a comical representation of the budget where the option for every item was either fully fund or no funding. And the city manager thinks people's choices have meaning? The appropriate and accurate description of that sort of thinking would get this posting deleted.

0

mtroach 2 years, 2 months ago

Survey says tennis center is the biggest looser. Only 90/584 funded.

Like on the Food network..." sorry tennis center...you've been chopped "

0

cindy constantine 2 years, 2 months ago

Phew---Maybe we can move past Bike Town USA and get back to being Ski Town USA where we belong : )

0

Requires free registration

Posting comments requires a free account and verification.