While city officials wait for the results of 1,500 mailed surveys from Cobalt Community Research, many Patch readers are already asking for more information.
Patch readers have questions, such as who would the city sell the parks to and for what purpose?
[Read: How Do You Like Royal Oak? City Launches Survey to Find Out Residents' Satisfaction to learn more about the Cobalt survey mailed to residents.]
And the survey says...
Here's what the 386 people that took the Patch survey had to say.
The City has 50 parks, and some are seldom used. Should the City sell less-used parks to improve parks that are used more often?
- Yes - support: 27.94 percent
- No - oppose: 43.34 percent
- Need more information: 28.72 percent
Would you support a modest tax increase dedicated to maintain and reconstruct local roads?
- Yes - support: 38.08 percent
- No - oppose: 34.72 percent
- Need more information: 27.20 percent
"That's pretty much what I expected," said Mayor Jim Ellison, of Patch's survey results.
The "need more information" clicks do not represent a "no" vote, the mayor said, it just means city officials have much work ahead of them should they decide to put parks up for sale or ask voters to support a road tax.
Ellison added he has not seen the study results from Cobalt yet.
Sale of community parks
City officials placed the question regarding parks on the survey to find out where residents stood regarding the sale of any city-owned land.
"I don’t believe the administration has identified any park to date. This subject is on the agenda at the strategic planning meeting in January," said Recreation Director Tod Gazetti.
All of Royal Oak's community parks are dedicated, therefore they cannot be sold without a majority of residents' voter approval, Gazetti said.
Bumpy road ahead
Leaders are also curious if voters are wiling to pony up for road improvements.
Residents of Forestdale Avenue found out last summer that the city does not have money to repave lousy streets.
"If (the road) is going to be repaired, it's going to have to be paid for by the residents," City Manager Don Johnson advised Forestdale neighbors at a public hearing in July.
Johnson said Royal Oak does not spend "one penny of local property tax money" on roads. The only funds the city has are its share of revenues collected through state motor fuels taxes and vehicle registration fees, he said.
[Read: The Bumpy Road to Getting Your Lousy Street Resurfaced]
Strategic planning meeting
City officials are expected to review the results of the Cobalt study, which are due Dec. 6, when it holds its strategic planning meeting on Jan. 18.
In addition to providing credible survey results, Colbalt also develops coalitions of local governments and pools information so that leaders can learn from other communities that are "producing superb results," according to its website.
The strategic planning meeting, which helps the administration incorporate commission goals into the recommended budget, will be held in the City Hall conference room (Rm. 309) this year.
Editor's note: The results listed in this article are from a PATCH survey, which asked only the last two questions of the "official" six-page Cobalt survey. The Patch survey is not a scientific survey. We're just trying to get a idea of what's on our readers' minds.