Some fun facts:

In last month’s newsletter, our mayor wrote about some ‘exciting news’.  The National Research Center announced our city will receive the Voice of the People Award for Excellence in Built Environment.  This was after the community asked the residents to participate in the NRC survey.

Awards are presented at the annual ICMA Conference.

What is the ICMA?

ICMA (International City/County Management Association) (originally International City Managers' Association) is an association representing professionals in local government management. It is based in Washington, D.C., USA.


Anyhoo…to get to my point…the letter also states, “As a city government, we don’t chase awards” and “…while we were not seeking this recognition.”

These we-don’t-sign-up comments from the mayor appear each and every time an award is given to the community.  I’ve never believed that and in this instance, I checked.

Let’s explore:  NRC Products and Services

Hmmm…I wonder if they’re giving away their products and services? 

The NCS Pricing

Getting a price quote for The National Citizen Survey is easy as 1, 2, 3.Contact us today to find out if your jurisdiction qualifies for a discount.

So, they aren't free.  Who knew?

Our report is finished – now what?

Once you have received your final reports, it’s a good time to think about how you can use that data to take action for your community.  NRC offers an optional half-day workshop at added cost called “The Next Steps Workshop”.  This workshop will delve deeper into how you can use your survey data in strategic planning.


So, yes…the city administration DOES chase the awards.  And they actually PAY to get the awards. 

And then they USE the awards to ‘take action’. 

Which means more sustainability (a made-up word) projects to increase our livability (nope, not a word) that most likely will cost residents more money and steer them in the desired direction to accomplish the outcome.

Where’s the proof, you ask?:


What advice can you give me when creating my custom questions?

The NCS is a standard tool with questions used by all participating communities – as well as space for questions unique to each community. There is no additional cost associated with including custom questions in the space allotted on page four of your survey.

Staff and elected officials are welcome to be highly involved or minimally involved with designing these questions, and NRC will provide detailed consultation to help you finalize the exact question wording.

Following are general guidelines for the creation of the custom questions for your survey:

This section of the survey is designed for closed-ended questions (questions with fixed response options). (If you’re interested in including an open-ended question, there is an add-on option available for this type of question.)

Questions should be concise and contain only the necessary background. (Keep in mind that we don’t want to over-educate the survey sample, as that will interfere with the generalizability of findings for these questions.)

Remember the general population you will be addressing, and avoid questions that will only apply to a small group within your community. Try to avoid language that may be too technical for a general audience.

We’ll help you match the right set of response option for each question – they don’t have to be the same across all custom questions.

For each question:

Describe the issue of interest. Feel free to draft the survey question wording or simply to explain what you would like to see covered in the question and how you hope to be able to use the results of the question.

Consider the response categories that you would like to use. Most commonly communities use a quality scale (excellent, good, fair, poor) or a support-oppose scale (strongly support, somewhat support, somewhat oppose, strongly oppose). There are many other options, including satisfaction, likelihood, agreement and more. We’ll help you select the best options for your questions.

Decide whether to omit “don’t know” as a response option. We often recommend including “don’t know” among your response options, but you may wish to omit “don’t know” if you believe that all respondents will be familiar with the issue.


Local Government Playbook of Strategies

Now that you've conducted a survey with National Research Center, Inc. it's time to put those results to work.  This Playbook of Strategies provides you with recommendations on how to move forward.  You'll find informational articles that will help with creative thought processes as you draft new plans, see how other governing organizations have used their results and have access to downloadable, do-it-yourself toolkits to get you started.


So Mr. Mayor, in the name of all that’s TRANSPARENT, please stop telling your citizens that these awards just fall in your lap.

Just wanted to clear that up for all.

Views: 56

Comment by Robin on September 19, 2018 at 7:19pm

Wow, Jodi.

Isn't it sad that there never is truth in anything having to do with government, be it federal or local. They think that no one will research or pay attention. That's how we got in this mess now in our country. I always paid some attention, but, I admit I didn't become fully engaged until Obama. Now, I'm a stalker of sorts.

Comment by JeansBrother on September 19, 2018 at 7:35pm

Mr Mayor, how did you break your arm?

I was patting myself on the back!

Comment by NativeCollector on September 19, 2018 at 8:12pm

Those services are would Ben paid with tax dollars.  What is the benefit, in the end, besides the award they weren’t seeking ~cough cough~?

I did get a chuckle from the one for ‘Older Adults.’   Older than what?  Older than children? That would make them adults.  Everything is so politically correct anymore.  What age group would ‘Younger Geezers’ be? Pre-retirement? 

Comment by Jodi180 on September 20, 2018 at 1:12pm

Once I became aware of the sustainable development movement about 10 years ago, I've participated in many "we want your input" sessions/surveys that cities and counties put out there.  I mean, if you know me, you know I'll give you my input...wanted or not!

What I've found is that there's nothing unique about any of them.  They are all conducted in the same manner.  The answers you choose are the answers they want.  One even tried funning it up by allowing you to answer by putting beans in the answer jars.  It reminded me of first grade.

These local governments and their surveys are completely disingenuous.  And the residents are getting duped into thinking they're making a difference by participating.  And the awards are a sham.

And in this case the mayor is dishonest.

Comment by JeansBrother on September 20, 2018 at 4:29pm


I recently broke one of my favorite coffee cups.  It simply said:

"everyone is entitled to my opinion" -- it seemed appropriate for an entitlement society.

Comment by Robin on September 20, 2018 at 7:40pm

I like that saying on your cup, JB! LOL


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