(MANHATTAN, Kan. – April 13, 2023) — The City of Manhattan is announcing the release of its 2023 Community Survey. The community survey will be sent to a sample of more than 11,000 households during the week of April 17-21.
The Community Survey has been conducted in 2015, 2017, and 2019. In the past, City staff and elected officials have been eager consumers of the data, and used results in a variety of ways to guide policies and practices. Survey topics cover overall satisfaction with quality of life, City services such as parks and recreation and public works, and support for future growth and projects.
“Past survey results have helped to influence many projects as we are able to gain consensus on topics from a broad and diverse range of our residents,” said Assistant City Manager Jared Wasinger.
“It’s led to efforts at the airport, sales tax initiatives for street maintenance and parks and recreation, and major stormwater improvements, to name a few. This year, we have an opportunity to ask some newer questions about pressing issues facing the community such as recreation programming, housing, indoor aquatics, efforts in Aggieville, and more.”
The City has worked with Dr. Josie Schafer, currently the director of the University of Nebraska at Omaha’s Center for Public Affairs Research, who was a professor at Kansas State University when the City conducted its first surveys in 2015 and 2017. Dr. Schafer and her team work to ensure the research design and methods for the survey are rigorous and provide a valid assessment of the opinion of the residents of Manhattan, Kansas, to guide City officials.
Every year of the survey, efforts to conduct broad outreach — and ensure a large sample of Manhattan residents respond — have increased.
“In 2015, we were reaching 2,000 households by mail with paper surveys and asking households to send the survey back,” Wasinger said. “This year, we are reaching more than 6,000 households through email and another 5,000 via postcards with links to the online survey.”
Postcards will be sent to 5,000 randomly selected households in neighborhoods across the city. Be on the lookout for a salmon-colored postcard in your mailbox around the end of April. New this year is a QR code on the postcard, to provide quicker access to the survey. In addition, emails will be sent April 17 to 6,914 additional households within city limits who have opted into receiving their water bill through email, asking them to participate in the survey. Respondents will have until mid-May to complete the survey.
Results will be presented to the Manhattan City Commission later this summer.
For more information about previous survey results, visit the City of Manhattan website.