Utility bills in Monroe to include survey regarding area’s future

The city of Monroe is planning to solicit the input of all residents in a survey later this year.

Jennifer Patterson, assistant to the city manager/economic development, made a presentation Tuesday night at the City Council meeting and said “the time is right” to have the much needed conversation with residents.

She said Monroe has experienced extensive growth and it’s not the same city it was 10 to 15 years ago. She wants residents to voice their thoughts about the future of the city through a survey.

Patterson said the community survey would be used to engage residents safely and effectively and establish connections; inform budget priorities and capital investments; make evidence based decisions; free up staff time; measure performance; guide economic recovery and growth; dive into specific issues and look for trends every three years.

The survey will be sent to every resident in their utility bill this fall and the questions can be answered on paper or online portal. She hopes to have draft questions to council members by the end of the summer. She’d also like to get potential questions from department heads.

The data will be collected by the University of Cincinnati Economics Center.

The survey will create a mechanism to track public opinion over time and evaluate new ideas, according to Patterson. She’d like to conduct the survey every three years and include some of the same questions to generate “a legacy of knowledge.”

She said several surrounding communities like Hamilton, West Chester, Liberty Twp., Oxford, Springboro and Germantown conduct similar surveys will their residents.

In other news:

Thomas L. Smith was appointed director of development, a position formerly held by Kevin Chesar who resigned in October for a position in Montgomery, Ohio.

Smith, of Mason, has 13 years experience in local government and has served as assistant city manager for the city of Loveland for four years and assistant city manager and city manager for the city of South Weber, Utah.

He started Wednesday and his salary is $109,000, according to city records.

City Manager Bill Brock told council he is reviewing a safety report after a South Main Street resident expressed concerns about speeding and excessive accidents on the road.

David Schmitt, who said he has lived in the 500 block of South Main Street for 10 years, urged City Council at a recent meeting to approve the installation of a guardrail near his house.

He said that stretch of road has been the site of numerous serious crashes over the years and his mailbox has been knocked over about 30 times.

About the Author