Del Mar residents can provide feedback on city services through online survey in November

Del Mar residents will have an opportunity to offer feedback on city services through an online survey in November.

After several rounds of revisions, the council unanimously approved a draft citizen satisfaction survey during the Oct. 20 meeting. From administrative services to law enforcement services, the 22-question survey will measure the city’s performance and assess community needs.

“These kinds of surveys enable us to check in with the community on their level of satisfaction with core services that the city provides in a method that’s intended to avoid bias,” said Kristen Crane, assistant to the city manager. “Surveys like this are useful for establishing goals, priorities and program recommendations through the budget-setting process, which for Del Mar will begin early in the New Year.”

Because Del Mar last conducted a survey in 2006, the city identified a survey as a priority for the current fiscal year and budgeted $15,000 for the effort.

In February, council members agreed to hire a consultant and expected the questionnaire to be ready late spring. The survey was delayed, however, when council members cut the budget and opted for a hybrid approach, awarding Probolsky Research a $6,400 contract to develop, administer and summarize the survey with city staff. After several rounds of revisions, the council finally approved the seventh version of the questionnaire Oct. 20.

To avoid duplicate submissions, registered voters will soon receive postcards with a unique identifier access code for the Internet-based survey. The survey will begin early November, following the election, and remain open for four weeks. Staff expects to present the results to council in early 2015.