Jeff L. Thigpen Register of Deeds

Sunday, April 22, 2007

PLEASE FILL THIS OUT!: Guilford County Strategic Planning Survey

Guilford County has started a Strategic Planning effort and we've released a community survey.


Our committee is called the Strategic Alliance: Building Tomorrow Today. This survey is just one way the Alliance will be gathering assessment information from citizens across the county. In addition, there will be a series of public meetings in early May. (I should have a link to those meetings tomorrow.)

On behalf of our committee, I would appreciate your time in completing the survey.


  • Hi Jeff,

    I found some of the questions on the survey to be confusing. I don't know if I just misunderstood or if some of the questions weren't thoughtful.

    For example, question #8 asks us to rate the "following services or programs...offered or performed by Guilford County." Included are "public parking in downtown areas, public transit services, and cable television." To my knowledge, these aren't "offered or provided" by Guilford County.

    Additionally, questions ask us to rate services that, for city residents are not provided by Guilford County (waste collection, recycling, fire services, etc.) And when questions specifically refer to "downtown," are they asking about Greensboro or High Point?

    I answered the best I could, but I think there is a lot of room for misinterpretation of questions and answers.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 7:23 AM  

  • Thanks for your insights on the survey. I'll pass them on to our committee.

    A couple of insights. I believe the public parking question was added to get at whether the public thought there was adequate parking for our public facilities.

    On public transportation, the County has "Transportation and Mobility Services". While it is not a fixed route, city provided service, the question was designed to give us information about whether or not the public knows about the service.

    On Waste collection, the County has several franchise agreements. If you are a county resident the question seems more relevant, so I understand your concern. The County sets the franchise agreement rates. There are City Fire and County volunter fire deparments.

    I see your confusion again. The survey was sent to several departments for feedback and you raise some valid quesions. I have forwarded them. Thanks.

    By Blogger Jeff L. Thigpen, at 10:32 AM  

  • Jeff, I also filled out the survey and thought it was poorly laid out - you can't see column headers (too many questions in one category) and worse, the survey writers switch from (1) being good to (1) being bad in the middle of the survey.

    It was WAY too long (for most people, I'd think) and there was a fair amount of duplication.

    Who wrote this survey? Was it vetted by anyone with a stat background or testing skills?

    I wholeheartedly support getting community input (if you're going to do something productive with the results) but am not really convinced this particular survey is getting the best results for the County.

    Please take these questions as genuine interest and not as criticism:

    (1) Who's going to analyze and use the results?

    (2) How are you getting input from citizens without Internet access?

    (3) Were the questions original or garnered from other municipalities? (nothing wrong with that...)

    By Anonymous Sue, at 8:16 PM  

  • Thanks for the email Sue. The survey was developed by members of the Strategic Alliance and we are not using an outside consulting firm. The survey was distributed within several departments for feedback. There was discussion regarding the length of the survey. I believe the paper version is a bit easier to fill out due to formatting.

    The Strategic Alliance will analyze the results. There will be public hearings in the next two weeks to solicit more public feedback. We have also developed a stakeholder list from Guilford County Departments. The stakeholders will be sent the survey to distribute to their users, etc.

    The Alliance group, which I am part, looked at a series of City and County comprehensive planning efforts and "Picked and Chose" some ideas from them. The group will be discussing having individual meetings and increased overall citizen involvement.

    Based on Board of Commissioners leadership, there has been a desire to move the effort quickly. While I might be more comfortable if we had spent additional time planning the process or survey in detail, all things considered I feel like we are making progress.

    Any insights you have on community input or in general would be greatly appreciated!

    By Blogger Jeff L. Thigpen, at 5:58 AM  

  • Hey Jeff,

    I took the county survey. I thought some of the questions related to things that should not be handled by county government. I answered as well as I could, given the choices.

    I have issues with the way household trash and construction and demolition waste is disposed of in Guilford County and in North Carolina.

    I would like for the cities and county to work together to find a better way of dealing with this problem. I’m not talking about pick-up services. I mean the final destination of garbage. It is a problem in our county, our state and in our whole country. Guilford County Government should take the lead in addressing this problem locally.

    Thanks you,
    diane davis

    By Blogger diane, at 3:44 PM  

  • You are right. Some of the questions may be a stretch for Guilford County government, yet do impact quality of life so they were added.

    I am passing on your comments to the Strategic Alliance. I really do appreciate you taking the time to complete the survey.

    Thanks Diane.

    By Blogger Jeff L. Thigpen, at 4:44 PM  

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