CHESTERFIELD – Chesterfield County received more than 6,200 responses to its recent community priorities survey through the “Build Chesterfield’s Blueprint” campaign.
This survey campaign reached out to residents and businesses to see what they felt was important in their community, and to solicit ideas to be implemented into the budgeting process in the future. Residents took an online survey, attended one of three community workshops, and interacted with county staff at more than a dozen community events in July.
“This helps us as we begin to review operational, capital, and budgeting strategies in how we can best meet citizen expectations of local services for fiscal 2018,” said Dr. Joe Casey, county administrator. “We now have more insight into what our residents define as the community’s priorities.”
The top two priorities identified by residents are education and public safety, which collectively account for more than 60 percent of the planned expenditures for fiscal year 2017. Residents said investment in teacher pay and in smaller class sizes is a priority, as are continued community policing efforts and an emphasis on recruiting and retaining the best public safety personnel possible in the county.
“The Blueprint Chesterfield results reaffirm that the community supports the investment being made in public education,” said schools Superintendent Dr. James F. Lane. “There are not many places able to boast that 94 percent of participating residents are satisfied with the current level of investment made in their neighborhood schools or want more investment. As the school division’s new leader, the input provided regarding items such as class size, employee compensation, school start times, etc., helps frame our conversations in the future.”
The data from the survey is available online at blueprint.chesterfield.gov. The site will serve as a resource for residents to continue the conversation about community priorities. Residents who shared their e-mail addresses will receive a link to the results, and the county will continue to communicate with residents and invite them to be involved as the process continues.