Community survey to gauge residents' response to city services

WHEATON – The Wheaton City Council is considering a survey to take stock of how its residents view city services, infrastructure, satisfaction and more, which may be released as soon as early January.

During a Nov. 25 planning meeting, the council was presented with a final draft of the survey, which includes a wide range of topics, such as the city's library, police, fire, public works and safety.

About 2,000 of Wheaton's 20,000 residents will be sent surveys the week of Jan. 6, according to a memo from the city. The ETC Institute of Olathe, Kansas, the city's contracted analysis firm, will compile the data once a minimum of 400 surveys have been returned. A final report will be released six weeks later.

Residents who do not receive a survey can to weigh in via a separate, online survey on the city's website.

The survey is the first such undertaking in nearly 20 years, said Communications Manager Gary White.

Mayor Mike Gresk and council member John Rutledge said they were surprised by the low respondent minimum. Both said they expected the results to skew negative, as those with issues against the city were more likely to speak up than those without.

City Manager Don Rose said that the process was something the city could start codifying into a more regular practice for obtaining feedback.

"As we talked about doing the survey, we had discussion with the council and thought that this would be an ongoing thing," he said. "A benchmark, a starting point, and we would build off of that."