Rock Hill City Council and city officials will review results from the newest resident survey this week during their annual retreat.
The retreat will be from noon to 5 p.m. Tuesday and 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Wednesday on the top floor of the DiGiorgio Campus Center at Winthrop University.
These results will be used to update priorities in six initiatives within the city's strategic plan: public safety, short- and long-term economic development, Old Town revitalization, quality public services, sustainable growth and quality of life.
The 25-plus question survey is completed every three years through the National Research Center. This is the fourth time Rock Hill has participated.
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Residents are asked to rate their satisfaction on city services, such as police and fire services, drinking water, activities for youths and seniors and street repair.
It also asks residents to rate their satisfaction on the quality of life in the city as a place to live, to work, to retire, to raise children as well as opinions on educational and employment opportunities.
Responses are on a scale from poor to excellent.
Mayor Doug Echols said the results indicate priorities the council should focus on. "How do we move forward with being responsible?" is the question the data answers, he said.
"The important part, besides the details, is we get an indication of how residents feel about and understand their relationship to the community," he said.
This year, nearly 300 people were surveyed.
A small sample of the results shows that 72 percent of people rated the overall quality of life in Rock Hill as excellent or good, compared to 71 percent on 2008. There is also increasing satisfaction with car travel in the city, availability of paths and walking trails and the availability of affordable quality housing, according to initial results.
By early spring, Echols said the council will have a list of priorities and will go over them until they become a "manageable document."
These priorities will be used in the budget process to determine how to allocate financial resources based on the priorities of residents.
Echols said there aren't many cities that use this method. Rock Hill was awarded the 2011 Certificate of Excellence from the International City/County Management Association for its performance management efforts, one of less than 30.
"The budget project becomes one that deals with priorities, and not necessarily just about the dollar amounts," Echols said.
The city's strategic plan and accountability updates are available online, including a new 2011 year-end report, at cityofrockhill.com/transparency.
According to the report, at least 77 percent of the targets were met in the past fiscal year.
These targets included rehabilitating or replacing three miles of sewer lines annually, seeking funding for priority road improvements, reviewing the drought management ordinance and reducing per capita violent crime rate.
Five percent of the targets required more information, while 18 percent did not meet the targets.
City manager David Vehaun said 18 percent means the goals either weren't completed by the deadline or are still being completed now.
City officials set the standards very high, he added.
"Our goal is not to set easy targets," he said. "Our goal is to make us work toward those targets. ...There's really accountability under a plan like this. We want a plan people are working at every single day."
With such public and transparent updates, that accountability is encouraged, he said.
"It's not just a document we set aside," Vehaun said. "It's a document we use."