City of Tyler mailing survey for public input

Monday, July 9, 2012 - 1:01pm

In the next week, a random sampling of 2,000 Tyler residents will receive a survey in the mail asking for their input about City services and community planning. This is all part of the five-year update to Tyler’s comprehensive plan: Tyler 21.

“It is hard to believe that it has been almost five years since the Council adopted the Tyler 21 Plan,” said Tyler Mayor Barbara Bass. “Much has been accomplished toward implementation of the original goals; however, the plan calls for an update every five years to ensure it remains current and reflects the desires of the community.”

The formal planning phase will start in November; however, the City is conducting the community survey now so that the results will be available as the process moves forward.

“A cornerstone of the planning effort is citizen input and involvement, including the citizen survey,” added Bass. “The survey will take approximately 10 minutes to complete and will aid the City of Tyler in taking a resident-driven approach to making decisions that will enrich the future of the community and positively affect the lives of its residents.”

ETC Institute, an independent consulting company, was selected to administer the survey. They will compile the data received and present the results to the City. Individual responses will remain confidential.

The mailed survey will contain a link that allows for it to be completed on the web. Also, two days prior to receiving the mailed survey, each of the selected households will receive an electronic voice message informing them about the survey. Approximately 10 days after the surveys are mailed out, extensive phone follow-up will be conducted either to encourage completion of the mailed survey or to administer the survey by phone.

“This approach allows us to ensure that the demographic distribution of the sample matches the actual composition of the community,” said City Planner Heather Nick. “This survey is intended to ‘take the temperature’ of the community for a reading on the prevailing concerns on residents’ minds.”

Tyler 21 Background

The Tyler City Council voted unanimously to adopt the Tyler 21 Comprehensive Plan at their meeting Nov. 14, 2007. The 20-year plan creates a strategic framework for future actions for the City and will act as a roadmap as the City continues to grow. It defines a vision for the future linked to overall goals and policies, and it contains strategies and action items for achieving the goals.

The original planning process took more than 18 months to complete, primarily due to the extensive public involvement involved. Resident input was sought throughout the process via a community visioning retreat (300+ attendees), six open houses and a survey of Tylerites. Focus groups, interviews with community leaders, and newsletter and website comments were also important vehicles to gather information about what was important to the residents of Tyler and how they envisioned Tyler growing to meet the needs of generations to come.

The input gathered from the public involvement process was used to establish the vision and principles that became the framework for the nearly 500 page plan. More than 100 citizen volunteers participated on working groups to further define the key issues and strategies to address the long-term future needs of the City.

"To succeed in keeping and improving on the best of Tyler, we have to be deliberate in our planning. With a comprehensive plan, we can ensure that every step we take in the future is in line with what our citizens want and what our future needs and opportunities will be," said City Manager Mark McDaniel.

The Tyler 21 Plan includes the following chapters: The Downtown Master Plan, Northend Revitalization; Historic Preservation, Parks, Open Spaces, Recreation & Lakes; Housing, Neighborhoods and Community Identity, Business and Economy, Transportation and Circulation, Public Facilities and Services, Future Land Use and Annexation Guide, and Implementation.

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