As Bothell grows and changes, it is important for City Council and staff to solicit feedback from the community and consistently incorporate this input into all decision-making. The City of Bothell recently conducted a statistically valid community budget survey with the help of independent researchers.
We heard from almost 900 households in two phases. In the first phase, households were directly contacted for a statistically valid address-based sample. The researchers mailed 5,000 postcards to homes within city limits with a one-time code to complete the survey online and also made contact via phone calls and emails. We received 632 fully completed surveys from all over the city.
In the second phase, we provided an open survey link via the City website, email and social media, so that households who were not directly contacted via home addresses could still weigh in, with 260 completing the survey.
In the survey, community members let us know what areas should be prioritized in the City’s budget and which areas the City should invest more or less resources into. For the address-based sample of 632 surveys...
Top priorities for 2023-24 budget investments were:
- Providing high quality recreational programs, city parks, trails, and open spaces
- Providing adequate transportation and infrastructure to meet the needs of a growing city
- Protecting and conserving the environment and our natural resources
- Managing growth and development
The open survey showed the same top four priorities, but in a slightly different order.
Survey respondents also told us how important certain city services are to them and how satisfied they are with the current service. When combined, this tells us what the City could focus on to increase resident happiness/satisfaction.
Top six focus areas were:
- Managing growth and development in Bothell neighborhoods
- Managing growth and development in downtown Bothell
- Safeguarding public funds through sound financial management
- Providing an efficient, responsive, and transparent local government
- Availability of recreational programming and classes for all resident
- Preserving and maintaining open spaces and natural areas
Biggest Issue Facing Bothell:
When asked what was the biggest issue facing Bothell, the majority of all responses were about managing growth and development. Parks, green spaces and recreation were next, with traffic and affordable housing following.
Initial survey results were presented to City Council in their April 19th City Council meeting and discussed during their recent retreat. The survey is just one tool to help inform budget development and shows us what topics we need to explore more. It is also a first step for potential targeted engagement efforts. Please note, we will have a full community engagement process leading up to a Comprehensive Plan update in 2024, digging into growth and development and several of your other priorities. Check out a high-level snapshot of key survey results and a dashboard of the full results can be found at www.bothellwa.gov/budgetsurveydashboard.