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City to poll local residents in April

The city of Lake Oswego wants to know local residents' opinions about everything from the proposed streetcar to changes downtown.

For the first time since 2005, the city will conduct a survey of local residents. About 400 residents will be asked questions between between April 1 and April 13.

The Lake Oswego City Council Tuesday approved the $25,200 survey, to be conducted by Campbell DeLong Resources.

The city usually conducts the surveys every two years.

'The survey gives the city good feedback,' said Jane Heisler, Lake Oswego's public affairs director.

She said this year will mark a change from prior years, as the questioners will ask how important a city service or issue is, in addition to the standard question of how satisfied residents are.

In addition, the city will have a shorter survey than the one in 2005. Rather than 25 minutes, the new survey should take about 15 minutes.

The survey will include previously asked questions such as 'Rate your overall satisfaction with your local government,' 'Do you approve or disapprove of the current course the city council is setting for the city?' and 'How do you rate Lake Oswego as a place to live?'

Heisler said the survey helps the city decide whether to keep certain programs or events, and may help during the budget period.

For example, in the 2005 survey the Farmer's Market received a high approval rating, while the city's Earth Day celebration received about a 7 percent favorable rating.

It didn't help that Earth Day festivities in April are prone to be rained on, Heisler said, but the survey showed it was not a good event for the city to sponsor.

This year's survey will also ask residents whether the city 'keeps its promises to residents' and whether the city should take the lead in encouraging sustainable environmental practices among businesses and residents. And residents will be asked their view on extending the Portland streetcar to downtown Lake Oswego.

The council will meet for a study session to discuss the survey results in council chambers at city hall at 6 p.m. May 13.