It’s easy to complain about city services in private or on social media. But criticism is useless unless city officials know about it.
Durango residents, and non-residents, are being asked to weigh in on their “overall satisfaction with quality of life, affordability, livability and the future of living in the city of Durango,” via an online Community Satisfaction Survey.
The survey, which is voluntary and not statistically valid, asks respondents to rate their satisfaction on a scale of “very dissatisfied” to “very satisfied.” Interim City Manager Amber Blake said responses help direct City Council goals and city work with businesses and interest groups in the community.
“This survey doesn’t say this is what the city can do. These issues are not necessarily things the city can solve,” she said. “But the city can be a part of a team with the community to address these issues. It will take the whole community to figure out what works best.”
Anyone interested in completing the Community Satisfaction Survey can visit durangogov.org/virtualcityhall. The deadline to complete the survey is Feb. 10.
Housing and jobsRespondents can rate their satisfaction in a variety of areas, including housing cost, economic opportunity, public transit services, sense of community and safety, and the condition of parks.
The survey asks respondents about the city’s trajectory, including questions about the rate of growth in Durango, its ability to retain character and the future of jobs in the community. Respondents can also choose what issues they think are most pressing in the next five years.
Of the 120 responses recorded this year, only 32 agreed to share their responses online. Of those, issues related to homelessness, economic opportunity, and affordable and attainable housing topped the list of concerns.
Respondents shared similar sentiments in early 2018, the last time city officials sought feedback through an online survey, according to responses recorded on the city’s website.
Of the more than 600 responses recorded two years ago, 184 agreed to share responses publicly. In both 2018 and 2020, the majority of respondents identified homelessness and affordable housing as the most important issues Durango will face in the next five years.
In 2018, the majority of respondents – about 35% – said they were “dissatisfied” with housing options and housing prices in Durango. In another question, 40% of respondents so far this year say they are “dissatisfied” with affordability, up from about 35% two years ago.
It’s no surprise that community members may be dissatisfied with the cost of housing and the availability of jobs, Blake said. “Those are very complex issues and topics, and they’re interconnected,” she said.
The survey is another avenue for staff and council to engage with the community about what’s most important to residents. Responses will be considered as a part of continuing public engagement, advisory board recommendations and city staff input to guide municipal work.
“This, again, will help in preparation for the 2021 year – we’re always planning ahead,” Blake said.