The loss of city revenue due to the pandemic has already resulted in many changes in the Battle Creek city government.   The city is changing waste haulers to save money.  Many city employees have been laid off.  Retiring employees are not necessarily replaced.  City departments are doing more with less, and some entire departments are being outsourced.

That’s one reason the city is asking you to tell them what goals and services are most important, but that’s not the only reason.  The city has been actively seeking input since long before the pandemic.

The city survey explains it this way:

“About six years ago, the City of Battle Creek started work on the intentional understanding of the services most important to our community. The City Commission and staff implemented Priority Based Budgeting to evaluate the services most important to our neighbors and make sure we distribute our budget funds to match. Together, we identified our community results, and definitions of those results, with input by our elected officials, city team, and you, our neighbors.”

In a release, the city explains that the process “helps the city address financial health and long-term wellness by prioritizing service goals based on community, staff, and city commission input.”

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The survey lists 13 goals, such as economy, arts, and culture, utilities, transportation, and education.  It asks respondents to choose their top 8 and gives an option to list another.

Then the survey asks for input on eight specific areas.

  • Art and Culture
  • Economy
  • Education
  • Physical Appearance
  • Recreation
  • Safety
  • Transportation and Mobility
  • Utilities

The City notes that “With a majority of new city commissioners, it is time to ask the community again about the most important services that we provide as a city. This process helps us continue to define why we exist, and how we serve our community.”

The City of Battle Creek will report back to the community on the top priorities and plan to hold (and live stream) a city commission workshop on the evening of April 29.

The survey is very simple and only takes a couple of minutes to fill out.  If you live in the city, you can expect to find a postcard in the mail promoting the survey with the following info:

 

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