The Star Beacon; Ashtabula, Ohio

March 2, 2013

Conneaut sounds off on municipal topics

On-line survey yields some unofficial results

Star Beacon

CONNEAUT — CONNEAUT — An on-line survey conducted by the city of Conneaut last month gives some very unofficial insight into how residents feel on a handful of municipal issues.

For example, most people who took the survey would support a street levy, regularly recycle, support their safety departments, want a cleaner town and think tourism is important, but would oppose consolidation of services with other communities.

City Manager Tim Eggleston said the answers are interesting but cautioned against reading too much into the results. Only 211 responses were received, and the software used could not prevent people from participating in the survey more than once.

“This should not be considered as empirical data,” he said this week. “The data itself can be beneficial to draw some assumptions on how the public views city services and can be utilized as a guide for the administration and (City Council) in making decisions.”

Some of the questions deal with issues now before city officials. Here are some results, in selected categories, rounded off to the nearest percent:

• Could you support a street levy? — Yes (64 percent); no (36 percent)

• What length of levy could you support? — Five years (68 percent); seven years (12 percent); 10 years (20 percent)

• Should residents be allowed to park vehicles in front yards? — Only in a hardship (29 percent); always (18 percent); if the parking spot is paved (22 percent); other considerations (31 percent)

• How important is tourism to economic development? — Important (77 percent); not so important (23 percent)

• Rank the city’s top priorities — Top three responses: economic development (44 percent); blighted properties (16 percent); property maintenance (10 percent)

• Rank the city’s most important services — Police (47 percent); fire/ambulance (31 percent); public works (8 percent); economic development (7 percent); municipal court (4 percent); code enforcement (1.4 percent); zoning enforcement/health department (each .95 percent)

• Would you be in favor of contracting out some city services? — Yes (51 percent); no (49 percent)

• Would you be in favor of consolidating some city services? — Yes (40 percent); no (60 percent)

• How important is the city’s cleanliness (1-5 scale, with 1 most important) — 1 (53 percent); 2 (24 percent); 3 (18 percent); 4 (2 percent); 5 (3 percent)

• Would you favor a single trash-hauler for the entire town? — Yes (40 percent); no (60 percent)

• Do you recycle? — Yes (76 percent); no (24 percent)

• How often do you recycle? — Always (33 percent); most of the time (29 percent); half of the time (11 percent); rarely or never (a combined 27 percent)

• Should the city make recycling mandatory? — Yes (71 percent); no (29 percent)