Needs committee working on PTC citizen survey

Goal is to provide recommendations during budget kickoff in spring

With much of its analytical work done, Peachtree City’s Needs Assessment Committee is starting to probe how it will conduct a citizen survey inexpensively ... and also what questions will be on that survey.

The committee was appointed by Mayor Don Haddix to look into city services compared to their cost, and to provide recommendations to council as to which services should be prioritized and which others could be trimmed or cut.

The committee is aiming at providing input to the budget for the 2013-2014 fiscal year, a planning process that will get underway in the spring.

One of the committee’s main goals is to provide accurate information so citizens can make informed opinions when the take the survey. At its meeting Thursday, the committee also agreed that it is of utmost importance to make sure the survey and its questions are as unbiased as possible.

The committee also appointed two subcommittee chairs to separately address the survey questions themselves, and how the survey will be administered as cost effectively as possible.

The committee in recent weeks has received an overview of the city budget by Finance Director Paul Salvatore along with an overview of public safety efforts and costs from Fire Chief Ed Eiswerth and Police Chief H.C. “Skip” Clark. Police and fire expenditures make up a significant portion of the city’s annual budget.
Meanwhile, the committee is seeking to get input from citizens, noting in a press release that anyone who works, shops, plays, runs a business or attends school in Peachtree City has an interest in the committee’s work.

For more information about the committee, visit www.peachtree-city.org/needs.

At Thursday’s meeting, Haddix told the committee that the top issues he hears most about from citizens are landscaping, police and fire services, property tax rates, stormwater issues and the importance of the city’s cart path system.

Committee member Josh Bloom cautioned that such information shouldn’t be allowed to skew the group’s work.

Committee member John Dufresne was selected to chair a subcommittee developing the survey questions while committee member Robert Black was picked to chair the other subcommittee focusing on how the survey will be delivered to citizens at a low cost.

In addition to the general fund expenses, the committee is also looking at stormwater costs and other funds including the facilities authority bond, a $3 million financing plan to repair and improve city-owned facilities.

Haddix also reminded the group about the separate budgets maintained by the city’s convention and visitors bureau, airport authority and sewer authority.