Paducah leaders review citizen survey

Paducah city leaders are getting a good idea of what you want improved after spending the day analyzing results from a citizen survey you took in April. The survey gathers feedback on topics such as city services, community characteristics, and economic development.

Leaders compared the results to a survey from 2013, when 63 percent of you rated your quality of life as positive. That jumped to 68 percent this year.

The National Research Center, Inc., administers the surveys. NRC Vice President Michelle Kobayashi, who led the next steps workshop Wednesday, says that’s a good increase. She says it’s hard to improve that rating because quality of life includes in so many factors.

“I think it’s incredibly important for community leaders to come together to sit with the data, think about what the residents want, and think about how to improve the community,” Kobayashi said.

However, with the good news comes the bad, and that’s what city leaders are focusing on.

"If we pick three issues, we are going to end up with infrastructure, public trust, and population growth/economy," Kobayashi said.

Those are the topics Paducah leaders want to focus on after hearing citizen survey results for this year.

Throughout the morning, they worked in small groups to narrow down and come up with strategies to make improvements.

Kobayashi says they use Paducah as an example of a city turning their data into action.

“Think about what the residents want, and think about how to improve the community,” Kobayashi said.

She says survey results rank low in infrastructure.

“Like storm drainage, sewer services, utility code enforcement,” Kobayashi said.

City Engineer & Public Works Director Rick Murphy says their group thinks compiling a list of needs and priorities can help, as well as developing and maintaining a plan of improvements that are backed up by funding.

For population growth, leaders think a focus group to pinpoint what demographic they should target could help, along with talking to current industries about any spin-off business they can attract to bring more jobs.

However, city leaders spent the most time talking about how to improve public trust. Of those surveyed, 39 percent said they feel positive about honesty from Paducah’s government. City leaders think educating the public on what they control and what the state controls could help, along with improving transparency and celebrating their successes.