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Spokane

Bad streets stay atop city survey

Sun., June 28, 2009

City Council taking online input; public market high on list so far

Here’s no surprise: Spokane residents want smoother streets.

It’s the top desire of citizens who so far have taken an online City Council survey about what they want from city government.

In a list of 22 items, street improvements, more job opportunities and the creation of a centralized public market have ranked the highest among the 683 completed surveys as of Friday afternoon.

Mary Franklin, senior executive assistant to the council, said all adults who live within city limits are encouraged to take the survey, which is linked to the city’s Web site. The deadline is Friday.

Councilman Mike Allen said he decided to create the survey, in part, to give leaders citizen insight before dealing with the city’s projected $7 million budget shortfall for 2010.

“We’re going to have to fundamentally change the way we do business,” Allen said. “So knowing what the citizens feel the priorities are as well as knowing how we’re performing will help us better decide as we go through the budgeting process.”

Using online surveys to help guide cuts may not be easy. In an online council survey conducted late last year, 16 of 18 city services won majority support for being a priority or “somewhat” of a priority by the 2,828 survey takers.

The top priorities in that poll were fire protection, police protection, parks and recreation and street improvements.



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