Surveys are wonderful. They give you a chance to to be heard. Maybe, just maybe, you can make a difference and have an impact on something. If you’re on the city council, your chances of making a difference are much better (just ask councilwoman Jennifer Bruzan Taylor); you only have to convince four other council members to support your quest. However being a member of the common-folk in the ‘peanut gallery’ and speaking-up during your three minutes of public forum is typically met with silence from the council or a polite “thank you for your comment” and that’s it, be on your way or have a seat.
Naperville prides itself in surveys, not necessarily the changes that result. During the last 17 years surveys have been conducted in 2006, then two years later in 2008, four years later in 2012, followed four years later in 2016, and now seven years later in 2023. If you see a trend of more years between surveys you would be correct.
The plan is to have postcards mailed this week to households randomly chosen geographically allowing the survey to be accessed. Then approximately the beginning of August, the survey will be open for the entire community to access online, with the results provided to the city council in October. The survey will focus on the public works department, police and fire departments and the overall quality of life in Naperville including health care, schools and parks. The results of the survey will be compared to communities with similar demographics throughout the United States.
It will be interesting to see if any improvements will be made, or if the entire effort will be nothing more than socially acceptable non-productive behavior resulting in nothing more than a feel-good exercise.