Schaumburg resident survey already impacting board decisions
A recent survey of Schaumburg residents already has influenced the village's 2015-16 budget decisions, and officials will meet Monday to discuss other ways the public input can be used to improve operations.
"This is the first time that the village board has had the opportunity to get together as a group to discuss them," Village Manager Brian Townsend said of the National Citizen Survey results.
Last fall, the survey organized by the International City/County Management Association and the National Research Center was mailed to 1,200 randomly selected households in Schaumburg.
The results helped the village identify some key strengths -- including quality of life, quality of development, economic opportunity, safety, cultural amenities and educational enrichment opportunities.
But Townsend said it also revealed areas in need of improvement, such as street conditions, traffic and cost of living.
Efforts to address these concerns are reflected in the new budget through the prioritization of road repairs and 1 percent reductions in spending and the property tax levy.
The survey results also cited a need for more engagement between the village and residents. To address that, officials are looking into an opportunity for two-way communication with citizens through a 311 online chat feature that will be unique in the region.
Schaumburg Mayor Al Larson said he found it useful to check the pulse of the community, and believes the village should do so every couple years.
Along with the expected findings that residents want lower taxes and affordable housing, the survey also found that despite the many grocery stores and workout facilities already in town, people still wanted more -- nearly every brand and company available, Larson said.
Residents also asked for more entertainment options. Since the survey, the village has seen the opening of the Pac-Man-themed Level 257 restaurant and entertainment center at Woodfield Mall, and has received a permit request for a Punch Bowl Social to move into the former John Barleycorn building.
"It just goes to show you how responsive we are," Larson joked.
All of the village's department heads have received the survey results and are contemplating ways of incorporating them into their operations, Townsend said.
Monday's 7 p.m. discussion at village hall is intended to be an open-ended one aimed at getting officials' initial thoughts and ideas about the results, he added.