Wednesday, November 29, 2023

Hayden Council approves citizen survey

Staff Writer | April 15, 2023 1:00 AM

The Hayden City Council wants residents' feedback.

The council approved a citizen survey Tuesday that will soon be sent by email to those living in the city.

The goal of the survey, produced by OnPointe Insights, is to understand how people of Hayden feel about things like access to housing, growth, quality of life and the direction the city is headed.

“I think it addresses the concerns in our workshops we’ve all had an opportunity to talk about,” said council member Ed DePriest.

The survey was requested by council members to ask the community if the city’s comprehensive plan is in line with the residents' values, and to understand the values of their constituency for making decisions moving forward. The council has to balance complicated decisions, like limiting growth with providing access to affordable housing for people who have grown up in the area.

The survey was designed to be simple for users to fill out and to provide broad insight into key topics, not necessarily specific feedback from a few people.

Council president Matthew Roetter insists that the survey be reachable to people who are “not computer literate,” and accessible in paper form.

The paper surveys could be available at places like the Hayden Library, the Senior Center or City Hall and links will be printed in the city newsletter. City staff are also working to make the survey available at City Hall for people to come in person to take it on a computer or electronic device, with assistance available.

There are safety nets that prevent people from taking the survey multiple times, or from cheating in some way to flood responses.

Council member Sandra White voted against approving the survey.

“I feel like the people spoke in the election last year and they wanted slower growth, and the future land use map looked at,” White said.

While the questions on the survey do not directly address the future land use map, which is a complex document that’s publicly available and used for city planning, the questions are aimed at understanding the community priorities that shape the future land use map.

In other Hayden city news

City Administrator Brett Boyer announced Tuesday that Hayden Recreation Director Suzanne Cano received the Dr. Leon Green Fellowship award, the highest award given by the Idaho Recreation and Parks Association.

To receive the award, a candidate must have at least 15 years of experience in parks and recreation, have notable contributions to the field, hold an office in the IRPA or in a committee and exhibit “outstanding leadership in a special field” of parks and rec.

The last time Cano won an award through the IRPA, she was the student representative in 1997 and has been with the IRPA since. She’s served in Post Falls and Hayden on committees and on the board as treasurer or secretary for all but roughly five of the years since then.

“My previous boss nominated me for this, so that’s a good feeling,” Cano said.

Mike Kinziger, her previous advisor at the University of Idaho and friend, has also been a Leon Green award recipient and was the inspiration for her to enter the field.

“To be counted in that company is very humbling and very gratifying,” Cano said.

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