ZEPHYRHILLS — The city's annual survey of citizen satisfaction levels will not be conducted by University of South Florida students, as has been done for the past decade.
Instead, the city will handle the survey in-house this year. City Manager Jim Drumm gave the city council a draft of this year's survey at Monday's council meeting, but members decided to delay approval until their next meeting to give them more time to consider topics they want residential feedback on.
The draft includes a new question — whether residents favor a slight hike in the city property tax rate of .25 for every $1,000 of taxable property value — to help open and maintain a city-owned swimming pool. The council has been discussing possible uses for the school district-owned Hercules Park and swimming pool for several months; the county, which once leased the property from the school district, closed the park and pool two years ago. The district has discussed with city officials the possibility of the city taking responsibility for the property.
The survey has previously been administered at no cost by students in USF's public administration master's program, but Drumm said program officials notified him recently that the survey project is no longer included in the course syllabus. The officials said university staff are available to conduct the survey at a cost of $4,000 to $5,000, Drumm said.
Drumm suggested the city's administrative services director, Larry Strickland, conduct the survey since he handled it two years ago when he was a student in the USF program.