Columbia releases survey asking for residents' input concerning city priorities

Friday, April 20, 2012 | 3:49 p.m. CDT; updated 7:27 p.m. CDT, Saturday, April 21, 2012

COLUMBIA — The city of Columbia is asking residents to weigh in on which issues they think are important and how the city can improve services for a strategic plan the city is developing.

A survey is available online at the city's website and asks questions such as "What do you feel are the most important issues facing the city of Columbia?" and "If you were city manager for a day, what would be the first thing you would do to improve our city?"

"The city is doing strategic planning that will help the City Council and every department align our resources with our priorities," Health Department Director Stephanie Browning said.

Browning is working closely with two consultants the city hired to help facilitate the planning process.

"For us, this is important — to hear what the people we serve have to say," she said. "Usually, you try to think ahead. We are thinking on a three-year time frame."

The council will meet in early June and come up with a strategic plan based on the city's goals, Browning said. Each city department will then have until the end of September to make its own plans that support the overall goals of the city. Input from residents will be reviewed and relayed to each department to help determine goals and priorities.

The survey addresses the fact that local budgets are shrinking and that the city will receive less support from federal and state programs. It also asks residents how they think the city should address gaps in public services created by budget cuts.

A printed version of the survey is available on the first floor lobby of Daniel Boone City Building, 701 E. Broadway.

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