And there are three more areas that have increased in importance to city residents by more than 5 percent in the past six years — appearance of commercial areas, historic preservation and downtown revitalization. Those results came from a survey conducted in July 2012 at the city’s request by the Kansas-based ETC Institute, a community-based market research firm. The city paid $19,600 to the firm to conduct the survey, city officials said.
The city of Tyler is bucking national trends, Ron Vine, of ETC, said on Wednesday, because residents are pleased with city services, and so many in the community are vested in making the city a great place to live.
Vine made the remarks to a group of city officials and community leaders who gathered at the Rose Garden Center for the kickoff meeting of the Tyler 1st Steering Committee. The steering committee will take the survey results and begin to work on the issues that residents said were important to them.
The Tyler 1st Comprehensive Plan, formerly known as Tyler 21, was launched in 2007. The plan addresses issues such as downtown revitalization, historic preservation, parks and recreation, transportation and housing and neighborhoods.
The comprehensive plan is reviewed every five years and completely updated every 20 years.
The purpose of the survey was to help determine the way the city of Tyler prepares for the future in the development of programs, services and facilities, Vine said. The ETC Institute worked with city of Tyler officials in the development of the survey questionnaire, which allowed the survey to be tailored to issues of strategic importance to effectively plan the future system.
The survey was administered by mail, phone and online, Vine said. The goal was to obtain a total of at least 400 completed surveys. This goal was exceeded, with 427 surveys completed, he said. The level of confidence is 95 percent with a margin of error of +/-4.7 percent.
The top three issues that Tyler residents listed as the most important to them in 2012 were: public safety, 86 percent; employment opportunities, 83 percent; and maintaining a low tax rate, 82 percent. Those top issues have not varied much in importance since 2006, according to the survey results.
City officials also updated attendees on the accomplishments of the past five years from the Tyler 21 Comprehensive Plan in such areas as downtown revitalization, business and the economy, housing and neighborhood identity and others.
There will be 10 to 12 steering committee meetings scheduled from February to November this year, and some of those will be public meetings designed for residents to give input, Assistant City Manager Susan Guthrie said.
To see the complete survey results, go to: www.cityoftyler.org and click on “planning department,” “comprehensive plan,” “tyler first,” and then “citizen survey.”