Contact: Thea Setterbo, 210-207-7349
SAN ANTONIO (June 28, 2017) — The City of San Antonio received a record-breaking 6,082 responses to its third annual #SASpeakUp budget outreach campaign, once again breaking the record for the number of responses collected. Residents were asked to share their ideas about what City services they would like to see prioritized in the City’s Fiscal Year 2018 budget. Feedback was presented to the City Council today at a day-long work session and policy discussion about the FY 2018 budget.
“Civic engagement is a critical component of everything that the City of San Antonio does,” Mayor Ron Nirenberg said. “Feedback shapes the direction of the City and its priorities. I look forward to working with my council colleagues and our City Manager to develop a budget that balances the needs of our current residents while exploring opportunities and new services for future generations.”
Feedback from residents can be provided through a wide variety of platforms, making it easier than ever for budget priorities to be shared. This year, feedback was received primarily through surveys collected online, at 18 communitywide events and from various City-owned facilities, supplemented with comments submitted on social media. The budget survey and information was made available in English and Spanish on SASpeakUp.com, disseminated through social media, posted on neighborhood websites (e.g. Nextdoor.com) and sent through e-mail blasts.
“The budget is a reflection of our residents’ priorities and serves as a roadmap for the direction of our city for the next fiscal year,” City Manager Sheryl Sculley said. “Our vision when we started the #SASpeakUp campaign was to go out into the community and take an inclusive approach with our outreach. I’m encouraged to see the amount of feedback continues to rise year after year.”
Each year, City staff works with residents and City officials to ensure the City’s annual Operating & Capital Budget is financially balanced and reflects the priorities of the community. By law the City of San Antonio is only required to host two public hearings regarding the budget, however, under the leadership of City Manager Sculley, budget outreach and education has increased each year to ensure a more engaged population. The 2017 #SASpeakUp campaign is the most robust and multi-faceted input effort by the City to gather feedback in the past decade. More than 6,000 surveys and comments were received, breaking last year’s record.
WHAT RESIDENTS SAID:
Public feedback indicated that streets are the most highly used City service, with 74.52% of respondents indicating they used streets in the past year, followed by trash/recycling pickup (70.01%), sidewalks (60.94%) and parks/greenways (58.25%).
City residents were asked to rank the following priorities for the upcoming fiscal year: code enforcement, animal care services, health and wellness, human and social services, libraries, parks and recreation, public safety (more firefighters and police officers), streets/drainage/sidewalks/transportation and workforce and economic development (job recruitment, expansion and retention of businesses, job training programs).