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The City of Fargo Launches Community Survey Tool to Scientifically Gather Resident Input

Ongoing online surveys will gauge sentiment toward City services and community priorities


The City of Fargo on Monday, June 10, launched a new community survey tool that will help City leaders identify community members’ opinions regarding City services and community sentiment. The launch marks another step in The City of Fargo’s continuing efforts to increase community engagement and build trust among the residents we serve.

The community survey tool will regularly provide The City of Fargo with accurate data to quantify concerns shared by significant numbers of community members. By utilizing this data, City leaders will be able to effectively set priorities across City departments on key objectives. “Whether it’s affordable housing, transportation or public safety, City leaders are always looking for feedback from community members on issues facing Fargo. This cutting-edge approach to community engagement will allow us to turn their feedback into action,” Mayor Dr. Tim Mahoney stated.

Community members who see links to the surveys on social media sites, mobile apps, local blogs and popular websites are encouraged to participate and make their voices heard. The surveys will gather input from a diverse cross-section of the community that reflects the latest Census data. “The broad, representative reach of these ongoing surveys will help The City of Fargo hear voices from across our community and ensure their concerns are efficiently addressed,” City Administrator Michael Redlinger stated.

To launch the community survey tool, The City of Fargo has partnered with Zencity, a technology company focused on enhancing community trust through meaningful engagement. Zencity currently works with hundreds of municipalities across the U.S., including Chicago, Phoenix, Seattle and San Diego. The City of Fargo’s Communications & Governmental Affairs Team will help facilitate the survey and disseminate results to City leaders and staff. “We are proud to debut a survey tool that meets community members at eye-level and empowers them to express their views on Fargo City government, community amenities, viewpoints and priorities,” stated Chief Communications Officer Gregg Schildberger.

This initiative underscores The City of Fargo’s commitment to listening to community members, valuing their voices and making sure their needs are met, said Commissioner Denise Kolpack, the City Commission’s liaison to the Communications & Governmental Affairs Team. “Resident input is so vital to the job of a City Commissioner. We are here to represent the people and this survey tool will give us direct insights into community sentiment, allowing us to serve the community like never before,” Commissioner Kolpack stated. “This tool will help us make the best decisions for Fargo’s future.”

The survey touches on many topics including general satisfaction of the quality of life in Fargo, affordability of housing, availability of arts and cultural events, sense of overall safety, availability of quality jobs, trash and recycling services, transportation infrastructure and the quality of City services. It also seeks opinions on The City of Fargo’s elected governmental structure and approaches to reduce the prevalence of homelessness.

After the survey is completed and its results finalized/presented to the City Commission, an online portal branded Your Fargo will launch to engage in an ongoing dialogue between City staff and residents on the topics which the survey showed were of highest importance to Fargo residents and business owners. It will effectively allow local government to gather more direct feedback (and to provide timely responses) in real-time based upon the results of the community survey.

The City of Fargo has entered into a three-year contract with Zencity. Community surveys will be conducted annually for each of the next three years of the contract to allow for trend analyses and comparison. Additionally, Fargo will be able to successfully compare itself to peer communities across the nation to determine areas of success as well as areas to improve upon.

Survey Methodology
Zencity’s community surveys incorporate voices from every corner of the community. To do so, Zencity sets response targets based on U.S. Census data about the municipality. Zencity ensures the security and privacy of its data and survey respondents. Survey responses are anonymous unless a respondent chooses to share their email address for follow-up purposes. Zencity does not collect a respondent’s name, address or any other personally identifying information. Zencity’s weighting accounts for the responses of every single person who answered a question, giving a proportional voice to all demographics (e.g., by age, sex, race, education level and income level) based on the makeup of the municipality.