The City of Palo Alto is upping the number of residents receiving this year’s National Citizen Survey by 1,500 in an effort to increase participation rates, which have been dropping in recent years. While only 21 percent responded to the City’s survey last year, lower response rates to surveys is a trend nationally. City officials are hoping that increasing the total number of residents receiving the survey will increase the overall pool of respondents. The surveys were sent out starting last week to a total of 4,500 randomly selected Palo Alto households. This year, survey responses must be postmarked and returned by September 21 to be included in the final results.
“We would like to encourage residents who receive a survey to fill it out as soon as possible and send it in,” said City Auditor Harriet Richardson whose office administers and manages the survey. “The responses we receive on questions centered on quality of life definitely play a role when decisions or policies are considered. This is an opportunity for community members to voice their opinions about City services and other issues.”