City’s Performance Accountability Survey provided inconclusive results due to lack of respondents

Published 8:10 pm Friday, April 22, 2016

Results from the city of Selma’s Performance Accountability Survey were released this week but due to the lack of respondents, the information is inconclusive.

Only 364 people took time to fill out the survey and many of them resided outside of Selma in nearby cities like Plantersville and Valley Grande. When all added up, about 1 percent of Selma’s residents took the survey.

The city paid $2,500 to Mark Peterson’s Ceyero Consulting company to analyze the results, which factors out to about $6.86 per survey taker. It’s fair to say the survey was a waste of money.

Don’t get us wrong. It was an admirable effort by the city to try to get feedback from Selma’s citizens. It’s always a good idea to try to find out what Selma’s residents like and dislike about the city and where there are opportunities for growth, but this was a failed effort.

Some citizens have argued they didn’t know about the survey on social media, although it was discussed in several local media outlets. There may not have been enough incentive for some to take part and others may just not care. Whatever the reason, the final result was disappointing.

Sometimes the effort is there and for some reason, things just don’t work out. This appears to be a good example of that. Unfortunately, nothing was really gained from the survey.

It’s hard to know whether 364 citizens truly represent the pulse of Selma, especially considering the survey results don’t align very well with our city’s demographics.

If city leaders hope to help Selma improve, asking for feedback from citizens is the right place to start, but the next time they do it the process will have to be drastically different in order to produce different and more conclusive results.

It’s all about trial and error. If at first you don’t suceed, try again. Although the results were disappointing, we hope the city continue its efforts to gain feedback from citizens in the future.