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‘What are you most proud of?’

Deadline looms for city’s online community perception survey

Published: Wednesday, Feb. 6, 2013 1:15 a.m. CDT
(David McKinney)
Hadley Skeffington-Vos

STERLING – Midnight Thursday is the deadline to participate in Sterling’s community perception survey, designed to help the city shape its image.

In the survey, available at, participants are asked about Sterling’s most desirable characteristics, what brings and keeps people in the community and what can be improved upon.

The survey became available Jan. 7; as of Tuesday afternoon, 272 people had completed it, said Hadley Skeffington-Vos, assistant to City Manager Scott Shumard. In addition to Sterling, they hailed from Rock Falls, Fulton, Dixon, Chadwick, Morrison, Rockford, Como, Byron and Galt, as well as Florida, Arizona and the United Kingdom, she said.

One question asks “What in Sterling are you most proud of?”

Among the responses have been health care; Wahl Clipper Corp; the Mexican culture; the low cost of living; schools; the Rock River and the variety of restaurants, Skeffington-Vos said.

“What is one thing Sterling is missing?” drew responses such as an identity; a 4-year college or university; riverfront development; industry; full-time jobs and a motel or hotel.

“If you were forced to move away from Sterling, what is one thing you would miss the most?” Local restaurants; the Rock River; family or friends and Sterling’s “hometown feeling” were among the responses, Skeffington-Vos said.

Most of the participants were 35 to 44, she said, adding that she would like to see more people ages 18 to 24.

She also spoke with Sterling High School Principal Jason Austin about getting seniors to answer a modified version of the survey.

“Some of the questions are far-fetched [for that age group],” she said. “We’ll try to get some more feedback in that age category.”

Skeffington-Vos will take the results and create a report that will be presented at an upcoming City Council meeting and posted online. City leaders are to discuss the results and decide “where do we want to go from there?” she said.

To take the survey

Go to to take the survey online; copies also are available at City Hall, 212 Third Ave. They are due by midnight Thursday.

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