What Estero residents want to know and how they want to know about it
The results of the Engage Estero 2023 Communications Survey, conducted in April, has provided important guidance for the management team. The objective was to determine how best to keep residents informed and what issues were of greatest interest and concern to them.
by Allan Bowditch, Engage Estero’s Chief Communications Officer
Topics of Interest
The topics that over half wanted to know more about can be seen below. Interestingly, there was little difference between the views of younger and older residents on the topics of interest:
Local Building Development
Local Road and Bike Path Construction
Water Pollution (Estero Bay and Estero River)
Discussing the latest State and Local legislation that will impact our area and what we can do about it
Solutions and mitigation efforts to reduce Red Tide and Blue Green algae
Discussion of Estero's Recreational plans
A review of the strategic planning processes used by the Village and the County
Evaluating the Village Council Plans and Timelines
Almost everyone (93%) indicated that the means of communication that worked best was email. Almost 50% mentioned they liked to read written summaries of Engage Estero’s meetings and Public Forums on our website. In addition, 1 in 4 also indicated what worked best for them were – notices of the meeting and articles in Spotlight, Seabreeze, Estero Life magazines, and other circulated media and watching video recordings of expert presentations or Public Forums available on the Engage Estero website. 1 in 5 stated they liked to watch the Zoom meetings we schedule, enjoyed the In-person attendance at our live Public Forums meetings with expert panelists including the Q&A and In-person attendance at our community and membership meetings with invited speakers.
When asked if they were in favor of attending public forum meetings, the majority (83%) said they were. Most also felt Engage Estero should continue with the Community and Member Meetings. Regarding their frequency many felt they should be conducted on an as and when basis (42%), while others (26%), said every two months. It seems that Tuesday’s and Thursday’s were generally felt to be the more popular days for setting up these events. However, the suggested times for these meetings differs markedly between younger and older residents. Not surprisingly, those aged 50yrs or less wanted to attend in the early or late evening (5 30pm or 7 pm), while those 51 yrs. and over wanted them held late morning (10 30am) or early afternoon (2 30pm). This is clearly an issue where a compromise will need to be made in order to optimize the attendance.
It was interesting to examine the many comments made when asked what else Engage Estero could do to help residents understanding more about what is going on in our community. The following issues were raised by several residents.
- More specific information is needed about developments ahead of time.
- It was felt there was a need to limit developments until the infrastructure is in place to cope.
- The impact of growth on the water supply and pollution of the Estero river was concerning.
- The impact on road safety from increased traffic as a result of the planned developments was also a worry.
The Engage Estero Board of directors and the executive management team (EMT) would like to thank all those who responded to the survey and have provided guidance on the issues that we should be focused on in order to address residents’ main concerns. We will be acting on this information in the coming months.
Engage Estero is an all-volunteer, nonpolitical, nonprofit Community Engagement Association. We exist to inform citizens of significant community issues and encourage citizen engagement to favorably impact the quality of life in greater Estero.