Pinehurst Hears 'Satisfaction' Survey
High marks on a residents' satisfaction survey and a decision to look at Pinehurst's "softscapes" were among the issues discussed Tuesday morning during a Village Council work session.
Karen Falk, vice president of the ETC Institute in Kansas, presented the findings of the first-ever resident satisfaction survey..
"In comparing Pinehurst's performance with the nation, the region, and other comparable communities in the state, your town did very, very well," she said. "The survey was completed by 512 persons, and we were hoping for 400 to participate."
Falk said the village set three high benchmarks based on the responses.
"You received very high marks in the categories of village efforts to prevent crime, the maintenance of major streets and curbside recycling," she said.
Falk said the respondents showed "overall satisfaction" in village services.
"The maintenance of village streets and the effectiveness of communications to residents received high scores," she said.
Falk said that while respondents said they live in Pinehurst for a variety of reasons, the top vote-getters were in the areas of safety and security, the quality of housing and the quality of health care.
Scores were lower in the "adequacy of street lighting" category, with 45 percent satisfied, Falk said.
"There is a village ordinance that restricts the number of streetlights that we are allowed to install," Assistant Village Manager Jeff Batton said. "We are dark by design."
Mayor Nancy Fiorillo defended the lack of streetlights in the village.
"Many residents enjoy the beautiful night sky that we are able to see here," she said. "Still, it may warrant revisiting if security is a concern for many residents."
Fiorillo thanked Falk for her work.
"The information gathered will assist us in establishing our strategic priorities and to redefine policy decisions," she said. "We will put this information to good use."
In other business, the council voted to have the John Milner Associates architectural firm review the council's recommendations on plans to move forward with village center streetscape enhancement projects. This review would cover the "softscapes," such as trees, flowers, shrubbery and grasses , as opposed to the "hardscapes" of sidewalks and streets.
"I believe we would benefit from Milner taking a look at this," Councilman John Strickland said after a discussion on which plants to use in landscaping areas of the village. "It would look not only like we were doing the right things but that we were doing things right in keeping with (19th century landscape architect Warren H.) Manning's vision."
But Councilman Mark Parson disagreed.
"We need to go ahead and make a decision," he said. "This makes us look weak and undecisive."
Strickland countered by saying Milner's input would result in the opposite impression.
"We would benefit from this, and it would look like we were approaching this from a position of strength," he said. "Otherwise, we would have the image of not doing our homework."
The rest of the council agreed, voting 4-1 to have the Milner company review the work.
Contact John Lentz at (910) 693-2479 or email@example.com.
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