The National Citizen Survey
Recently we asked a number of residents to complete a comprehensive survey regarding quality of life here in the Town of Ashland. I firmly believe that for a government to act in the best interests of its citizens, it is imperative that there exists a clear dialogue between the community and town leadership. To achieve this we need to utilize different types of communication tools to make sure all voices are heard. This survey is one of those tools.
Overall, the quality of life in Ashland is good according to responses. Many people choose to move and stay in Ashland because of its excellent school system, its affordability, and the small-town feel that is generated by our community.
The survey also reiterated a lot of the same themes I have heard before in my three years here: a need focus on commercial development, a revitalized downtown, and a solution to our water issues. These themes are sometimes attributed to a "vocal minority" that shows up at town meetings and civic events. Through this survey however, we see that is the direction the town wants to head in and we have objective, statistical data now to prove it.
I am also pleased to see that, for the most part, residents are happy with the services our employees provide to the town. Our staff works hard to help make Ashland a great place to live and do business and it is nice to see that you agree. Just as importantly though, it gives us valuable feedback on the things that we can improve on.
We will be using this feedback to develop goals and objectives for both our department heads and the town in general. Using this information we can focus our resources on better meeting the needs of Ashland residents and developing a vision for the future that reflects the community as a whole and not just a select few. We can also utilize this data to establish objective metrics to make sure we are advancing that vision. We will do the survey again in two or three years to see just how well we are doing.
I know that taking and completing this survey took a considerable amount of your time. On behalf of the Town of Ashland, I want to thank you for giving us your feedback and want you to know that the information it has provided will be utilized to help our Town be the best that it can be. I hope that you consider participating again in the future.
Michael D. Herbert