It’s not perfect, but it’s something that could help council figure out what services it could stop offering, fund through user fees or contract out to bring its budget increases in line with expected tax revenues.
Of course, I suspect many, many people responding to the survey will take the easy way out with this survey.
It’s far too easy to rank every thing you don’t care about low on priority and vote to de-fund it, in order to protect the services that you use and you like. Certainly there will be politicking around the council table when the results come in from those members of council that want to protect certain pet services and axe the ones they don’t care about. (The cousin of this approach is to put a pox on all houses and respond to the survey with support for losing all city services— but even then, doubtful people would choose to lower police or fire service, as an example)
So here’s my challenge.
Start by looking at the services you do use and ask yourself what you could live with less of. Could you survive with less-frequent waste collection? A road plowed less often in smaller snowfalls? And so on.
That’ll be meaningful feedback— what you could give up in order to spare your pocketbook as opposed to what you’re more than happy to take money away from because it doesn’t personally affect you.