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Artesia Survey Shows Residents Value City Services, Want More Local Control Over Funds

According to a recent community survey, residents of Artesia want to protect and maintain their local community services, placing a high degree of importance on protecting public safety services and street maintenance. Residents also indicated support for local revenue generation that would serve as a protected, reliable source of revenue for local needs that cannot be taken by the State.
The survey was conducted March 14 through March 26 by opinion research firm Godbe Research with 183 residents across the community. The City commissioned the survey to evaluate the Artesia community’s views related to the City’s fiscal challenges, general City services, and attitudes toward potential local funding measures.
Maintaining crime, drugs and gang prevention programs was the top priority at 73 percent, as was maintaining 9-1-1 police response times (72 percent) and maintaining neighborhood police patrols (69 percent). Fixing potholes and maintaining and repairing neighborhood streets and roads both scored 70 percent. 69 percent of Artesia residents also valued and wanted to maintain the City’s efforts to remove blight by preventing dumping and discarding of waste, debris, furnishings and appliances on public streets.
“With Artesia facing so many difficult budget decisions due to State takeaways and declined revenue, it was important to have community feedback on what our service priorities must be,” stated City Manager Maria Dadian. “It is clear from the survey that we must find ways to enhance local control over revenue sources in order to maintain current levels of public safety and police services, including neighborhood patrols, and crime and gang prevention programs.”
The City Council received the results of the community survey at the City Council meeting on Monday, May 14.
Artesia participates in America in Bloom
This year, Artesia is participating in the America in Bloom program, which is a national program that judges cities based on their floral displays, landscaped areas, urban forestry, environmental efforts, heritage preservation, and the overall impression left on the judges.
The judges were here on the weekend of July 5th. Evelyn Alemanni, one of the America in Bloom judges, said she was amazed by the amount of work Artesia has done toward greening its community, and found especially moving the partnerships between the City, local volunteer organizations like Artesia in Action, and with the school district. The judges were also very impressed by the nature gardens at Niemes Elementary.
Participation in the America in Bloom program benefits the community because it gives Artesia a chance to document everything that it has done over the last few years to make a more verdant city.
In return, America in Bloom judges provide a report to the community, with suggestions on how it can improve.
“We’re a built up urban community,” said Mayor John P. Lyon, “but we’ve done a lot that we can be proud of and showcase. I think we’re ready for this program.”
The City last participated in 2008, and since then the community has developed enough “green” projects, and has come to understand just what needs to be done in order to do well in the America in Bloom awards symposium later this year in Fayetteville, Arkansas.