Seeking Input to Improve Citizen-Government Communication
by Samantha Wright
Oct 21, 2013 | 1581 views | 0 0 comments | 44 44 recommendations | email to a friend | print
OURAY – Citizens of Ouray will find surveys in the mail next week, asking for feedback about how they prefer to receive information and give feedback regarding local government affairs.

It’s is part of Ouray Community Development Coordinator Ann Morgenthaler’s capstone project to finish her Masters degree in Public Administration from the University of Colorado, Denver School of Public Affairs.

“I am assisting the City of Ouray to determine how citizens would like to receive communication from the city, and how they would like to give input and feedback to the city,” explained Morgenthaler.

“This is not a city project,” she said, “but more like me – in my capacity as a graduate student – assisting the city, as if they are a client. The ultimate goal is that by learning how citizens would like to communicate, the city can work on designing efforts to better engage citizens in the future.

“Determining how citizens want to hear about topics, learn about topics, and share their feedback and preferences about topics is the first step in this process.”

Toward this end, Morgenthaler worked with her CU professors to create a short, two-page survey asks questions aimed at determining how many people use the Internet, how people currently receive information about local government affairs versus how they prefer to receive specific information, and more.

The survey goes out to all post office box holders in Ouray next week (and will be available online at cityofouray.com).

Morgenthaler has been consulting with Ouray City Administrator Patrick Rondinelli and City Resource Manager Rick Noll on the project, but done all of the research and other work on her own time.

“The City of Ouray is not compensating me for my time spent on this project,” she said. Nor is the city paying for the distribution of the survey via the mail.

“I welcome all feedback via the survey,” Morgenthaler said. “Everyone who has any kind of interest in the City of Ouray’s local government affairs – even people without a P.O. box, or who do not live in Ouray – is invited to participate. My hope is that the survey, and the analysis of the results and associated recommendations pertaining to increasing citizen engagement, will be a useful tool for the city.”
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