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Spokane survey hopes to identify residents’ priorities

Spokane residents have 10 more days to give the City Council a piece of their mind – at least in an online survey.

Council members are asking residents to fill out a “citizen priority survey” to rank 21 categories by importance to their neighborhood and to the city as a whole. A link to the survey is on the city’s Web site, at

Almost 2,500 surveys had been filled out by Wednesday afternoon. So far, residents have ranked fire service, police protection, a balanced budget, parks and street improvements as their highest priorities, if numbers are combined from the “somewhat” and “extremely” high priority rankings.

Other categories include public health, light rail, libraries, code enforcement and completion of the north Spokane freeway.

“We’re going to evaluate the responses and see if there are areas that we’re not addressing,” said Council President Joe Shogan, who called the project “democracy at its best.”

All survey takers are asked which neighborhood they live in or if they live outside city limits. The questions can only be answered once on any computer.

Councilman Mike Allen, who led the effort, said he wanted the survey to help him formulate goals for the coming year.

Allen said responses will be accepted until Nov. 30. He hopes to gather at least 3,500 surveys.

He said results will help officials identify priorities, but they will be one factor among many in formulating policy.

“This is an informational piece to help us categorize some of our work product,” Allen said.

“It is not the end-all, be-all survey.”

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