Friday, May 16, 2014

Survey Says...

Thursday night, students and faculty from the Barry Institute of Community Economic Development (BICED) presented their findings from the recent citizen survey.  I don't have the hard copy of that survey but have requested it so the following are from my notes.  

First, who replied?  336  NBV residents survey in total replied.  The demographics of the people replying were different than the village demographics in that 34% of the people replying were over 60, 50% described themselves as non-hispanic white, 81% had a bachelor's degree or higher, and most reported higher incomes than the census average.  This tends to be the sort of person who fills out surveys and is involved in civic affairs so that's not a bad demographic reply.   

Second, what do the survey responders see as the major issues facing the village?  In broad terms, 

  • 31% are concerned about Cleanliness
  • 30% are concerned about Traffic Control
  • 30% are concerned about Flooding
  • 21% are concerned about Parking
  • 30% are concerned about Public Safety
Note:  this does not add up to 100 because it is a report of the severity of the issue, not a top ranking.  

The students then presented what's known in business speak as a SWOT analysis, Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats.  This is essentially a categorized analysis of the findings and I have to admit, I was busier listening than writing so any inaccuracies are mine.   

  • Location.  Both the convenience of access to other parts of Miami-Dade and living on islands surrounded by Biscayne Bay are huge strengths.  
  • Stability - Most of the respondents are long time residents.
  • Crime - or rather lack of.  We are a very safe town.  
  • Absence of business growth.
  • Community Involvement.
  • Parking.
  • Lack of parks and recreation.
  • Poor communication with the village administration and commission.

  • Our location is ideal to attract new, high profile businesses.
  • NBV could develop tourism.
  • NBV could develop deep partnerships with local civic organizations.
  • Flooding and Climate Change Issues.
  • Downturns in the regional economy.
  • Rules and Regulations make Infrastructure Development difficult. *  
  • The Village's reputation is bad.  
* On this one, I asked for more detail but there was not much behind it.  I would love to know more.  

Finally, they compared us to North Miami Beach and Bay Harbor Islands.  What they found was that we do not have the same level of business and cultural events as North Miami Beach, and both have better parks and recreation access.  

There was more detail and I hope to get the whole report soon.  

Some interesting specific recommendations.  The group noted that there is no communication strategy from the village to the residents beyond the web page and occassional emails.   

The students recommended that the village redo the web page, create a social media presence on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and Google Plus.   These methods should be used to both communicate out (the village informs residents) and communicate in (the residents inform/question the village.)  

This has been a long complaint of the village residents and it's ironic that the numbers backing this up were presented in a meeting attended by 4 residents.  The village needs to be everywhere.  On Facebook for the old people, Instagram for the young, Twitter for the obsessive and while everyone is on Google Plus, I don't know anyone who uses it but I guess there too.   The web page needs to be usable, text messaging matters and e-mail for the oldz is a good idea.   These are cheap, easy to use channels.  

There's a lot more and I hope the other 3 residents who were there chime in.  I will post the report when I get it.  

Kevin Vericker
May 16, 2014


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