Powell will conduct a community attitudes survey this year.

Powell will conduct a community attitudes survey this year.

Mid-May is the proposed time for the telephone survey to be performed by Saperstein Associates.

The city plans to conduct such surveys every two years, said city manager Steve Lutz. The last survey was performed in July 2008.

The survey will collect residents' opinions on such topics as traffic, city services and taxes and their general outlook toward the city.

The Powell Operations Committee discussed the survey at its meeting April 20.

The telephone survey will have many of the same questions that a similar survey in 2008.

"To identify trends, the survey questions will remain close to the same," Lutz said.

However, committee members said they will likely add "time relevant" questions to gauge residents' support, or lack of support, for an income tax increase.

The Powell Finance Committee plans to recommend that city council ask voters to increase the income tax.

Last month, two of the three finance committee and council members, Tom Counts and Richard Cline, said they plan to ask city council for a November ballot issue asking voters to increase the income tax.

The tax is now 0.75 percent and provides up to 0.5-percent credit for those working in other municipalities with a similar tax. Counts and Cline proposed a 1.5-percent tax with a credit as high as 1 percent. Committee and council member Sara Marie Brenner opposes the recommendation.

The survey is estimated to cost $16,000, about the same as in 2008. The cost was planned for in the 2010 budget.

In 2008, Saperstein Associates surveyed 403 of Powell's roughly 10,000 residents.

The interviews averaged about 16 minutes, said Marty Saperstein of Saperstein Associates

"This community is easy to interview in because most people get it. It's an upscale white-collar community. (People) will take the time and are not intimidated by the process," he said.

The survey will include questions related to the performance of the police department.

Police chief Gary Vest's office has conducted law-enforcement related community surveys as required by the Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies. The department received its national accreditation in 2002. A public opinion survey is required every three years as one of the criteria for maintaining accreditation, Vest said.

The 2008 survey showed that most Powell residents were extremely satisfied with their city.

More than half the residents (52 percent) considered Powell exceptional as a place to live and 42 percent considered it better than average.

Most residents were highly satisfied with Powell's services and amenities, such as police protection, events, activities, parks, bicycle paths and snow removal, survey results show.

The 2008 survey results are available at www.cityofpowell.us, under the "Discover Powell" link.

bbutcher@thisweeknews.com