The City of Woodbury conducts a telephone poll of randomly-selected residents every two years. Through the community survey, citizens rate city services and the quality of life in Woodbury. They also give their opinions about some specific issues and potential projects.

The survey provides valuable feedback to the City Council about ongoing services. The city uses the data collected to determine whether it's meeting citizens' expectations and where it needs to make improvements.

The poll has allowed the city to track its performance over time and make adjustments in some areas. City officials also use the survey as a planning tool, specifically with identifying issues that deserve a more detailed approach than its day-to-day business operations generally allow.

Performance measurement
The survey results also are important ingredients in the city's performance measurement program. Through this program, city staff tracks more than 250 performance trends in city services. By monitoring the city's performance, the City Council can determine if service is improving or declining, and whether the community needs to adjust resources in a particular area.

A number of the performance measures are tied directly to data coming out of the community survey. The city tracks the percentage of residents who rate a service as good or excellent, for instance. When the city budget is prepared, the performance measures help the City Council evaluate what the city is getting for the money it spends, rather than simply how much it's spending. The city uses the measures to try to determine whether it is providing citizens with good value for the tax dollars they pay.