The City of Galesburg launched a citizen satisfaction survey in July to gather citizen feedback on city programs, services, and quality of life in Galesburg. The survey was administered by ETC Institute via mail, phone, and online, with the goal of collecting at least 400 surveys. This goal was exceeded, with 433 residents completing the survey.
ETC utilized a random sample to conduct the survey, designed to ensure the results would be statistically valid for the city. The demographics associated with the 433 surveys received indicate a proportional distribution, with a good representation of race, age, gender, location, and income that mirrors the U.S. Census Bureau statistics for Galesburg. This resulted in a survey that is highly representative of the entire population of Galesburg, with a margin of error for the survey of +/-4.7% at the 95% level of confidence.
The seven page survey contained 35 questions, including standardized questions utilized by ETC, which allowed for benchmarking against national and Plains Region averages. The Plains Region area includes North and South Dakota, Minnesota, Iowa, Nebraska, Wisconsin, Illinois, Kansas, Missouri, and Oklahoma. Additional details, as well as the results of the benchmarking analysis, can be found in the survey report on the city’s website.
Additional questions were developed specifically by the City of Galesburg in order to gain insights on particular issues impacting the community, as well as gather baseline approval ratings for goals included in the recently developed Strategic Plan. The Strategic Plan was developed by the Galesburg City Council during strategic planning sessions held at the end of 2021, with the resulting plan subsequently approved by the Galesburg City Council in February 2022. The plan lays out five strategic priorities of the Galesburg City Council, each of which includes specific initiatives. The results from the Community Survey will be utilized to establish the current baseline for some of the initiatives within the Strategic Plan, in order to have an accurate view of where the city is at now, and set goals for improvement.
An Importance‐Satisfaction (I-S) analysis was also conducted, which highlighted areas for improvement, with priorities based on areas of service where the level of satisfaction is relatively low, and the perceived importance of the service is relatively high. This priority ranking will assist city leaders as they continually work to responsibly utilize limited funding for the highest priority projects and services.
The community survey results provide a great resource for city leaders to take an in-depth look at citizens’ thoughts and priorities for city services. Some reassuring trends were realized, as well as opportunities for improvement. City leaders will have the opportunity to conduct the community survey again in future years in order to track change. This will allow the city to set goals for improvements based on this first round of results and track measurable progress toward the achievement of those goals.