Stafford recently conducted its first-ever community survey. The responses from this survey will be used to help the Board of Supervisors formulate their next three-year plan for implementing Stafford's Strategic Plan. The survey was a holistic survey, covering residents' views on every service provided to our county by every level of government, not just Stafford County Government. This data will help the Board formulate plans for the community and help it to lobby for Stafford on the state and federal levels. The survey results will also allow Stafford to benchmark its progress compared to other localities nationwide.
This survey provides insight into:
- Community Design
- Natural Environment
- Parks and Recreation
- Health and Wellness
- Education, Arts, and Culture
- Inclusivity and Engagement
Stafford County worked with an independent company, Polco, a community engagement polling company, to conduct a two-part community survey: a non-biased survey targeted at a smaller random group of residents equidistant around the county; and an "inclusive" survey open to all residents.
Who was chosen for the survey?
All households within Staﬀord County were eligible to participate in the survey. A list of all households within the zip codes serving Staﬀord County was purchased from Go-Dog Direct based on updated listings from the United States Postal Service. From that list, addresses were randomly selected as survey recipients. An individual within each household was selected using the birthday method. The birthday method selects a person within the household by asking the “person whose birthday has most recently passed” to complete the questionnaire.
How was the survey conducted?
The 4,500 randomly selected households received mailings beginning on March 10, 2022 and the survey remained open for seven weeks. For 1,500 households, the ﬁrst mailing was a postcard inviting the household to participate in the survey. The next mailing contained a cover letter with instructions, the survey questionnaire, and a postage-paid return envelope. The ﬁnal mailing contained a reminder letter, another survey, and a postage-paid return envelope. For the remaining 3,000 households, the ﬁrst mailing was a postcard inviting the household to participate, followed one week later by a reminder postcard. All mailings included a web link to give residents the opportunity to respond to the survey online. All follow-up mailings asked those who had not completed the survey to do so and those who had already done so to refrain from completing the survey again.
Was the survey open to everyone?
In addition to the randomly selected “probability sample” of households, a link to an online open participation survey was publicized by Staﬀord County. The open participation survey was identical to the probability sample survey with two small updates; it included a map at the beginning asking where the respondent lives and a question about where they heard about the survey. The open participation survey was open to all county residents and became available on April 14th, 2022.
I have questions about the survey. Whom should I contact?If you have further questions about the study, please contact the Department of Community Engagement at email@example.com.