CHESTERFIELD COUNTY, Va. (WRIC) — It’s a different approach than Chesterfield leaders have taken in years past, but one they’re hoping will be more effective.
While residents have always weighed in on the county’s budget, officials have been actively seeking out opinions long before crafting a budget to find out what residents want.
“So that when we get into the other stages of the budget process this fall, we’ve got a really got a really good understanding about what Chesterfield residents, businesses want to see,” Assistant Budget Director for Chesterfield County Matt Harris told 8News Reporter Mark Tenia.
More than 5,000 people have filled out an online survey so far, and hundreds have shown up to community meetings. In addition to education and public safety, Harris says residents would like to see more economic development so they don’t have to go outside of the county to work.
“Certainly a lot of interest in the more jobs that we can have here in Chesterfield County, a lot of desire to work where folks live,” Harris said.
“It’s an easy way to provide feedback and it takes less than 15 minutes,” resident Sara Ward said.
Ward has been pushing everyone she knows to fill out the survey.
“You hear a lot of complaints, but participation is pretty low usually,” Ward explained.
Ward says she’s hoping the community becomes more biker and pedestrian friendly.
“Would like to see sidewalks and more walkable communities, more connected communities,” said Ward.
The final community meeting will take place at the Central Library at 9501 Lori Road.
Meanwhile, the survey will be available until August 5.