Longboat to gauge satisfaction level of residents via a survey

Associate Publisher

Resident satisfaction is something the Town of Longboat Key will be evaluating in the upcoming months.

On Jan. 13, residents will be mailed a postcard that gives them the link to the survey website where they can answer the questions online. Town staff assured commissioners that the survey would be completely anonymous.

The town of Longboat Key, along with the University of South Florida, will be conducting the survey consisting of 32 questions for residents to answer regarding their experience with Longboat Key. The satisfaction survey will be performed annually, so the town can evaluate its performance and needs of residents. The online survey should be completed by Feb. 10, 2020 and the results will take 16-20 weeks to complete.

According to Town Manager Tom Harmer, the University of South Florida uses a methodology which will allow only one person per household to respond and the ability to know which answers are from which county; all while keeping the responses anonymous.  Most of the questions are multiple choice response. Only a few of the questions allow for written elaboration.

Commissioner Ken Schneier said he would like the residents to have to ability to answer the questions by elaborating in their own words.

“I would like to see more opportunities on the survey to explain something. I think any opinions given in the survey are not going to be determinative in regarding what should be done with the Art and Cultural Center,” said Schneier.

Vice Mayor Ed Zunz agreed. He said he would like the option for residents to elaborate on why they ‘disagree or strongly disagree.’

Commissioner Mike Haycock wanted to add questions regarding the citizens’ opinion on the commission and not just the town staff. He thought the survey was mostly focused on the citizens and their satisfaction with town hall and staff.

Harmer said that the University of South Florida professor (Dr. Stephen Neely) involved in making the survey, said to be careful not to include elected officials because it might taint the answers to the other questions and politicize the survey. He said that a general question regarding how satisfied residents are with the service of the commission could be added.

Haycock liked the idea, “I suggest we add the question suggested by Dr. Neely asking residents, ‘How satisfied are you with the service of the current commission?’”

Commissioner Irwin Pastor wanted to include a question in the survey regarding  Longboat Key belonging to just one county; Sarasota.

“The one county question, it is strange to be missing from the survey when it’s coming up on the March ballot. I think it belongs there and I was surprised it wasn’t,” said Pastor.

Harmer answered Pastor, “We knew that with our state legislature, they are not ready to do it during this session. There is openness to the idea for the next year’s session, so the timing becomes an issue.”

“I know the political reasons, but we’re here to serve out citizens. We would like to have their feedback,” said Pastor.

The commission then gave staff direction to add the extra question regarding the satisfaction level with the current commission.

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