Oswego Village Board examines results of community survey

Oswego Village Board examines results of community survey

Oswego Village Board members recently poured over results of a community survey intended to help village leaders better understand and respond to the needs of the community.

The results were mostly positive for the village, however residents did seem to want more public involvement in decision-making, according to the survey.

The village commissioned ETC Institute to conduct the community survey in the fall, the first in the village since 2018. The Kansas-based ETC Institute is a marketing research firm that specializes in community surveys for government entities.

“Overall, the satisfaction rates were similar to 2018 and that’s a good thing because most communities surveyed over the past year had a lot more decreases than increases in satisfaction,” ETC Institute Director of Community Research Jason Morado told trustees.

“The most significant increases in satisfaction were related to customer service and communication. The most significant decreases in satisfaction were related to traffic and congestion which is not a surprise given Oswego is a fast-growing community. This is typical for a lot of fast-growing communities across the country,” Morado said.

The village rated above the U.S. average in 54 out of 60 areas that were compared, the analyst said.

Oswego’s results were compared to municipalities in Illinois as well as those in nearby states including Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Dakota and Wisconsin, officials said.

A total of 527 residents completed the survey, Oswego officials said.

According to the results, 90% of the residents surveyed indicated the village is either an excellent or good place to raise children and 89% indicated the village is an excellent or good place to live, according to a report on survey results.

A specific area in the category of village communication that caught the attention of village leaders was the response concerning the level of public involvement in decision-making. Respondents gave the village a 28% “satisfied” rating in the 2023 survey, compared to 35.7% “satisfied” in 2018, according to the report.

“This stands out,” Oswego Village President Ryan Kauffman said of the responses on public involvement in decision-making. “That’s concerning to me.”

Residents did express in the survey that they feel informed, Oswego Village Administrator Dan Di Santo told trustees in referencing other categories within the village communication area of the survey.

“We’re doing a great job with communicating the issues, but it does appear they want more involvement in the decisions,” Di Santo said.

Kauffman encouraged residents to look into serving on some of the village’s commissions.

“One of the ways we can get people involved is on our commissions,” he said.

The results of the recent survey are available on the village’s website.