City of Riverside Issues Survey

As the five-year Riverside Renaissance enters its final 18 months, the $1.48 billion dollar plan is 80% complete and the City is looking toward the future. Many opportunities exist to further enhance the economic vitality of the City and provide further amenities for our residents. With an eye toward planning for future projects, a phone survey was recently conducted to poll Riverside voters on the performance of the Renaissance Plan, and to solicit input on what future projects might be pursued through a Renaissance - Phase 2. Because limitations exist on what projects can be funded with current resources, the survey also polled voters to gauge potential support for funding select projects with new bonds or assessments.

The survey was conducted in late May, 2010, by Fairbank, Maslin, Maullin, Metz & Associates (FM3), an independent research firm, in conjunction with the Lew Edwards Group. The survey consisted of telephone interviews with 600 residents based on a broad demographic range reflecting the make up of the City. We sincerely thank those of you who participated for your willingness to provide vital input to help guide the direction of our City.

The overwhelming majority of survey participants demonstrated very strong support for the Renaissance Initiative. These respondents also stated that they view our City as fiscally responsible in managing public resources, and heading in the right direction. They also indicated that even though the economy is showing signs of recovery, lingering concerns remain about unemployment, the drop in housing values and the condition of the local economy.

With regard to Riverside’s future, responses indicate a significant need to continue and expand upon the Renaissance Initiative with new projects. However, even though a majority of voters indicated they would support new taxes on property owners to fund an additional phase of the Renaissance, the degree of support may not meet the 2/3 level that would be required to develop new funding resources.

Guided by the results of this survey, the City will continue to seek opportunities to identify priority projects that can be constructed through alternative funding mechanisms, while continuing to invest in Riverside’s future. As evident in the robust success of the Renaissance Initiative, the City Council’s careful stewardship of public resources continues to enhance quality of life throughout Riverside’s 26 neighborhoods while stimulating the local economy.

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