Got two minutes? Share your opinion on new survey appMay 02, 2022 08:46PM ● By Bill Hardesty
By Bill Hardesty | [email protected]
To increase resident engagement and hear all voices, South Salt Lake has obtained a polling app called FlashVote. The app allows the administration and/or the city council to conduct six polls a year. Each poll will have five or six questions. It should take one or two minutes to complete the survey on various devices like cell phones, tablets or personal computers. FlashVote supplies results within 48 hours.
"I am excited to launch an additional channel to receive input and feedback from residents. This quick, convenient option gives a voice to those who may not have the time or interest in attending meetings," Mayor Cherie Wood said.
Statistical valid sampling
A key to FlashVote is having a statistical valid pool. Kevin Lyons with FlashVote stated that in his experience, for a city the size of South Salt Lake, a pool of 250-600 participants is the typical range. He also mentioned that numbers are smaller at the start. He said, "300 initially is great, but 400 is ideal on the panel to start."
The reason the pool number is essential is to ensure accurate sampling. Therefore, it is critical to have diversity in the pool. Not only ethnic diversity but other demographics such as age, gender, social-economic status, marital status, and length of living in SSL.
"The surveys are given to a pool of residents who accurately reflect the diversity of the city—age, ethnicity, gender, location of residence, and so on," Julie Taylor, communications and outreach manager, said.
As of April 18, there were 125 members signed up to the FlashVote Community.
"We want to make decisions most people want," said Sharen Hauri, the city’s director of neighborhoods, of the app’s purpose.
Hauri suggested the app will provide more information on South Salt Lake's issues. She cited examples like renaming the Columbus Center, thoughts on taxes, or how to use budget dollars.
"They will cover a wide range of topics such as budget items, evaluating new amenities, where investment is needed, and preference and guidance to build the future of SSL," Taylor said.
Taylor led the search for the right tool, which started in March 2021. Due to the cost, the city put out a request for proposals in September and received nine submissions. Of the nine, four were thought to address the goals of the RFP. The evaluation was complex because the proposals were very different. They ranged in functionality, but most were not strong as a survey tool. FlashVote met the needs identified.
There is a $6,900 annual subscription fee with an additional $4,000 for a Spanish translation.
In addition, there are one-time costs which could cost up to $2,100 for notification tools such as postcards and texting services.
The belief is that for every person who contacts the mayor's office or their council member, there are 100 or so who have opinions not shared.
"In a city with about 27,000 residents, we are often surprised how few people reach out, even on hot topics that we know mean a lot to the community," Taylor said. "We believe that many more of you actually would like to share more, but because of your busy lives and schedules or wishing to remain anonymous, remain silent."
There is no cost to sign up or to use, except for possible data charges. Residents can go to www.flashvote.com/sslc to get involved.