The city of Dayton skyline. TY GREENLEES/STAFF PHOTO.

City employees to visit residents to get their opinions

Hundreds of city of Dayton employees later this month will fan out across the Gem City to knock on doors to answers questions, collect feedback and try to build relationships with citizens.

“This is actually visiting residents in their homes and sharing with them information about the city but also just listening — being able to get input from the community,” said Diane Shannon, Dayton’s director of procurement, management and budget.

Every Friday between May 31 and Aug. 2, except for July 5, Dayton employees will visit Dayton residents to try to build more trust between city government and the people it serves, officials said.

Called Neighborhood Matters, the pilot program is modeled after one in Salisbury, N.C., that seeks to provide meaningful community engagement, the city said.

“We’ve been out in the neighborhoods quite a bit, and they’re starving for information about what we’re doing and the way that we do things in terms of paving and all that,” said Dayton Commissioner Chris Shaw, referring to his time campaigning.

City workers expect to visit about 18,160 addresses in 15 neighborhoods. These include Carrillon, Miami Chapel, Lakeview, Madden Hills, Pineview, Eastern Hills, Linden Heights, Shroyer Park and Wright View.

MORE: Downtown residents feel really good about Dayton. Others are less enthused.

The pilot program will cover nearly one-third of the city, and employees will leave door hangers if residents aren’t home directing them where to go to provide feedback or information

City workers, who will be out from about 1:30 to 3:30 p.m. on Fridays, will enter feedback and questions into the Dayton Delivers customer service app.

Dayton City Manager Shelley Dickstein said today nearly half of Dayton’s employees now don’t live in the city, which is a decade after a residency requirement was struck down by the courts.

“I want to make sure we aren’t losing touch with our neighborhoods, with our citizens,” she said.

One primary goals is to make sure residents know about key services like street paving and new services like leaf pick up this fall, city officials said .

MORE: Who’s optimistic about Dayton? Millennials, recent arrivals, wealthier

Citizens will get information about free smoke detectors, available city jobs, park upgrades, Premise Promise and demolition activities.

City employees will wear Neighborhood Matters T-shirts to be clearly identifiable.

“This is cutting edge — we may not be the first, but we’re one of the first,” said Dayton City Commissioner Matt Joseph.

Thousands of residents also this month will receive surveys from the city asking citizens what they think of living in the city and city services.

Surveys containing about 60 questions were mailed out that residents can fill out by hand and return using the provided postage-paid envelopes. Participation is anonymous.

Residents also can complete the surveys online at www.daytonsurvey.org using the ID codes in their mailed surveys.

Residents who did not receive a survey in the mail can complete surveys online beginning June 10.

The mailed surveys are due June 7.

“Participation is key to making the Dayton Survey a success,” said Mayor Nan Whaley. “We encourage residents to make their voices heard by completing the Survey at home or online.”

MORE: Survey: Dayton residents don’t feel as safe as six years ago

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