May 22, 2024

Whole Community News

From Kalapuya lands in the Willamette watershed

City, NLC seek to promote survey, events

5 min read
Neighborhood leaders and staff encourage residents to fill out the 26-question "Neighborhood Association Community Survey."

Eugene residents can share their opinions and ideas, to improve our local neighborhood associations. At the NLC meeting in September:

[00:00:09] Cindy Koehler (OECE): Hi everyone. I am Cindy Koehler. I am staff with the City of Eugene in the Office of Equity and Community Engagement, so I have five things to report and feel free to ask questions.

[00:00:19] One is: Thank you, John Faville, for reminding me to send out the Neighborhood Association Community Survey stats. Where we are: We have 483 (I think) responses for the Neighborhood Association Community Survey. Please keep sending that out.

[00:00:35] This survey is really for the neighborhood associations. It’s great information that each of the neighborhood boards will want to have, to help them with their work planning. So we really are relying on the neighborhood associations to help us get that word out.

[00:00:53] So: Social media, your email list, your newsletters, your postcards, any way you can get that information out would be grand and we will push that out through our channels as well.

[00:01:04] We are looking at doing some additional—maybe some Facebook posts. I think some of the neighborhoods have done that and had some pretty good success getting some response and feedback using Facebook.

[00:01:15] So I think we’ll do that and if we could get that promoted, that’d be fabulous.

[00:01:20] John Q: As the conversation moved to publicizing events in the Register-Guard:

[00:01:24] Cindy Koehler: Well, the Register-Guard used to provide us, for free, space in the Register-Guard, which listed all of the community meetings, and they decided that they didn’t want to do that anymore, for free. So we still have the option of posting that, but it’s just not free.

[00:01:44] Rene Kane (Jefferson Westside): What does ‘not free’ mean Cindy? How much does it cost?

[00:01:51] Cindy Koehler: That I don’t know. They, they wanted us to place ads is, is what I heard.

[00:01:55] John Q: It marks a change in the city’s relationship with Eugene’s most frequently-published newspaper.

[00:02:02] Jennifer Hoover (Whiteaker Community): Would it be like a PSA? Cindy, do you know?

[00:02:06] Cindy Koehler: Well, it wouldn’t be a public service announcement. It’s my understanding they eliminated that public calendar and they said if we wanted to purchase space for an ad, we could do so, and what that means, or what that looks like, or what the cost is for that, I have no idea.

[00:02:25] Carolyn Jacobs (South University): I totally agree that being listed in the Register-Guard, whoever pays for it or however we get there, is really important. I mean, if you think about it, one of the most commonly-heard criticisms of neighborhood associations is that we’re not inclusive enough. (Mm-hmm.) You know, we don’t represent everybody.

[00:02:44] Clearly reaching out and letting everyone know is like the most important—but in a way, minimal—but the most important basic thing we should be doing. And I would really push for finding out how much it cost and having it budgeted in.

[00:02:59] John Q: In addition to the survey, Cindy shared information about four items: Neighborhoods are invited to help interview for the new staff position; the new budget will be out Nov. 1; the annual report on bias and hate crimes comes out in October; and work continues on the NORP – the Neighborhood Organization Recognition Policy.

[00:03:17] Back to the survey, Tom Bruno.

[00:03:19] Tom Bruno: So it seems like there’s two surveys. There’s the, what I’m going to call ‘the NLC survey’ and then ‘the Eugene survey’ that made the paper this morning. What’s—can you explain that?

[00:03:33] Cindy Koehler: Sure. Apparently we—each department wasn’t talking to each other. Imagine that. So we had I think at one time three surveys that were out that were calling themselves community surveys, and then we had a fourth survey that was out that was about library services.

[00:03:48] So the community survey that the city was talking about was the one that went out in early September. It was open for a few weeks and it was largely about city services. So the purpose of that survey was to help inform the planning effort for our move to a every-two-year budget cycle.

[00:04:10] So we’re moving from the annual budget cycle, which focuses on the departments and how much funding each department gets, and then how they allocate those resources. And we’re moving instead to priority-based budgeting, which is based on programs.

[00:04:25] So the community survey hasn’t been done in, I think a decade, or more than a decade. So that survey was out to really get some information from the broader community on programs and services and what the community is valuing so that we can better inform the budget process as we move forward to a two-year process. Totally different from the neighborhood survey.

[00:04:54] John Faville (Northeast Neighbors): Back to the survey, I have a question, because yeah, as you said, 483 responses, but it’s also peaked out. The number hasn’t been growing and, oh, three-quarters of them are from five neighborhoods. Okay.

[00:05:09] And I know there is some discussion of OECE pushing it out more broadly. (Mm-hmm). And is that going to happen and is there going to be any steps taken to get that survey into more hands? Certainly in the hands of people beyond us, beyond the boards?

[00:05:26] Cindy Koehler: Yes, and I’m glad you brought that up. We’ve offered to print up copies of the surveys so that the neighborhood associations can take them out to their meetings, their events, whatever you have going on, just let me know in advance how many copies you’d like to have. English, Spanish, I will have those available for you to pick up.

[00:05:43] John Q: The survey appears on the Engage Eugene website, under ‘Neighborhood Association Program.’ You can view its 26 questions in advance at WholeCommunity.News. As always, your time spent answering the survey can be recognized through your neighborhood timebank.

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