Rancho Palos Verdes City Council



DATE: JUNE 17, 2003


STAFF COORDINATOR: Matt Waters, Administrative Analyst II, Recreation and Parks


Approve the Global Needs Assessment Survey and authorize staff to work with the public opinion firm of Fairbank, Maslin, Maullin, and Associates to conduct the survey.


On January 7, 2003, the City Council approved the concept of a global needs assessment survey to collectively address the concerns of the Open Space Planning and Recreation and Parks Task Force (Task Force), the General Plan Update Steering Committee, the Finance Advisory Committee, and the Palos Verdes Peninsula Land Conservancy. The survey was prepared by Richard Maullin, partner in Fairbank, Maslin, Maullin & Associates, a public opinion firm, to insure that the needs of the community are assessed as accurately as possible. Pursuant to City Council policy adopted on February 4, 1992, the full City Council must authorize the survey at a public meeting (see attached).

Mr. Maullin met individually with representatives from all four entities on March 31, 2003 to familiarize himself with their concerns and activities and to ascertain what each group hopes to obtain from the survey. Each group also submitted a list of suggested topics and questions that the consultant subsequently included in a draft survey. All four groups reviewed the draft survey and suggested refinements that have been incorporated into the revised 20-minute telephone survey (see attached).


The survey, which will be administered by the consultant to 500 RPV households (3.3% of total number of RPV households), will benefit the community by providing aggregate opinions about a variety of issues. Respondents—any resident sixteen years of age or older—will be asked to answer 33 questions, including sixteen demographic questions and five open-ended questions. Survey questions will address the respondents’ opinions regarding the overall condition of the City and the most serious issues facing the City as well as their usage and satisfaction with local features and City services, frequency of recreational activities and pastimes, preference for additional athletic fields or additional open space, and support for proposed parks and recreation improvements.

The Finance Advisory Committee members and Finance Staff recommend the omission of the two questions proposed by the Consultant and the deferral of a decision to conduct survey questions about infrastructure until a Financial Consultant is retained. The Financial Consultant would advise Staff, the Committee and the City Council regarding the merits, timing and content of an infrastructure survey. The Financial Consultant may recommend postponing an infrastructure survey until the community education process is further along and more reliable infrastructure cost information is available.

Once the survey has been conducted, the consultant will produce a report with statistically significant findings that will provide valuable insight. Task Force members will be aware of citizens’ satisfaction with and use of existing parks facilities and open space as well as learn what additional recreational facilities and programs the community desires. Survey findings will be combined with results from the two public workshops and stakeholder interviews to inform Task Force members of community needs and aspirations for its parks and recreation facilities. In addition, the General Plan Update Steering Committee will know residents’ opinions regarding the goals and objectives outlined in the existing General Plan and the Land Conservancy will have an indication of residents’ support for the acquisition of open space in the Portuguese Bend area.


The cost of the survey ($28,000) has already been approved by Council as part of the professional services contract awarded to RRM Design Group, the consultant working with the Open Space Planning and Recreation and Parks Task Force.


Council’s approval of the survey prepared by the public opinion firm of Richard Maullin, Fairbank, Maslin, Maullin & Associates will allow the City to obtain valuable information about citizens’ opinions on a wide range of topics, including recreational facilities and open space. In particular, the Open Space Planning and Recreation and Parks Task Force will be able to use the information gathered through the survey to complete the update to the City’s Parks and Recreation Master Plan.

Respectfully Submitted,

Ron Rosenfeld

Director, Recreation and Parks


Les Evans

City Manager


Global Needs Assessment Survey

City Council Policy No.2