Survey seeks opinions on borough government

NaugyTownHall2NAUGATUCK — How do you rate the borough on attracting new businesses? Or the building and permitting process? What services should the borough provide, and what should it discontinue?

A survey released online and in paper asks those questions, and many more, to residents, employees and anyone with a stake in the borough’s future.

“I think it’s just looking for strong trends and sentiments amongst the public,” Mayor Robert Mezzo said. “Clearly, online surveys are not scientific by any means, but they are able to pinpoint strong opinions on particular subjects, and they’re a critical part, and a usually very common part, of these efforts.”

Paper copies of the survey are available at Mezzo’s office on the fourth floor of Town Hall, 229 Church St.; the Howard Whittemore Memorial Library next door at 243 Church St.; and the Naugatuck Senior Center, 300 Meadow St. It can also be accessed online at www.surveymonkey.com/s/naugatuckstrategicplansurvey.

The survey is the latest step in the borough’s strategic planning process, managed by the West Hartford-based consulting firm Blum Shapiro. An introduction to the survey explains that burgesses are collaborating with the firm to chart a course in response to changing borough demographics, service demands and limited resources.

The survey asks participants to rate the quality and value of a number of borough services and specify how they would like to conduct business with the borough. It also asks whether participants believe the borough is finding cost efficiencies and whether residents are receiving good value for their tax dollars.

Consultants are interviewing some borough officials and employees and have solicited feedback through community forums. Blum Shapiro is also conducting research on the functions of borough departments and comparing them to their counterparts in other communities, Mezzo said.

The information will be used to craft long-term goals for the borough and a specific plan to enact them.

The full plan is not expected to be complete before the budget is adopted in May for next fiscal year, but officials remain hopeful that consultants might have some preliminary recommendations to take into account while crafting the budget, Mezzo said.

“We’re doing it right,” Mezzo said. “Certainly we want recommendations sooner rather than later, but not at the expense of quality.”

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