Columbia delivers annual citizens survey

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COLUMBIA - The city of Columbia is delivering an annual citizen’s survey to a random sample of households.

The citizens survey has been conducted in Columbia since 2003. The ETC institute will assist in the process of distributing and collecting surveys. This organization has conducted research for more major U.S. cities than any other firm.

Toni Messina, Columbia civic relations officer, notes how the sole purpose of the survey is to “see if citizens are satisfied with major aspects within the city.”

As of 2017, 69% of Columbia residents who took the survey voted neutral or dissatisfied with the with the city’s public transit system.

“The infrastructure is good for people who drive, but people who do not drive, it's a lot of expenses… I’ve noticed that the buses are not that reliable,” said Kat Usop, a seven-year Columbia resident.

The survey will ask Columbia residents about a wide range of services and issues. People will have the opportunity to rate everything from public safety, utilities and other day-to-day operations.

“A consultant compiles results for a counsel and management team to address it and see if funds are necessary in a particular area,” Messina said.

ETC Institute will make reminder calls a few days after the surveys are mailed in order to encourage participation. The survey will also be online to anyone who is interested in taking it.

A city's press release said: “Every citizen who responds to the community survey helps move Columbia forward."

The survey will officially close in December and the results will be available within three to four weeks.