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Early phases of strategic planning to begin in Dixon

Surveys, focus groups will be first part of project

Published: Thursday, June 5, 2014 1:15 a.m. CDT • Updated: Thursday, June 5, 2014 11:55 a.m. CDT
In the next few days, the city will mail surveys to all address in the 61021 ZIP code, the first step in the strategic planning project.

DIXON – In the next few days, the city will mail surveys to all addresses in the 61021 ZIP code, the first step in the strategic planning project.

After that, Sikich, the Naperville-based accounting and consulting company that’s leading the strategic planning, will meet with 15 to 20 focus groups, each consisting of eight to 10 residents, during a 3-day stretch this month.

Both the surveys and focus groups are equally important to the process, Mayor Jim Burke said in a news release.

“The citizen survey and focus groups should provide broad-based input, opinions and ideas about the community and city government that will set our agenda for the strategic planning workshops, which have not yet been scheduled,” he said.

Click here to see the survey.

The surveys will also be available of the city’s website, Burke said, adding that all responses will remain anonymous.

It will take Sikich 6 to 8 weeks to compile the results of the surveys and focus groups, at which point the results will be released and also used during the strategic planning workshops, which Burke said could start in late August.

The 17-question survey includes questions about where residents get their information about the city government and its services and activities; the quality of life in Dixon; how much contact residents have with city staff; and what are the city’s most important services, among other topics.

Similar topics will be discussed in the focus groups, Burke said, which will be made up of people city staff and officials have nominated to represent a “cross-section of community interests.”

City staff won’t be present during the focus groups.

“We don’t want any kind of sense of intimidation or anything like that,” Burke said.

Residents can volunteer for the focus groups by calling City Administrator David Nord at City Hall, and there will be an open public forum during one of the focus group days, which will be held June 17-19 at the Loveland Community Building.

Join a focus group

Residents interested in joining one of the focus groups, which will meet June 17-19, should call City Administrator David Nord at 815-288-1481.

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