Filed Under:  Local, News

NORDC survey seeks feedback from the public

22nd April 2014   ·   0 Comments

By Fritz Esker
Contributing Writer

In an effort to gauge public perception of their services, the New Orleans Recreation Development Commission (NORDC) opened a survey to the public on April 8.

The survey was part of an ongoing plan to revitalize the city’s recreation systems post-Katrina. It was posted on the NORDC website and social media outlets and sent to the NORDC community via email. All city employees and city council members received a copy as well. Deveney Communication, an independent third-party consulting firm, conducted the survey and will keep all responses in confidence.

To incentivize participation, a $100 Chevron gas card was awarded to a lucky participant who submitted their responses by April 18. However, NORDC will continue accepting surveys until April 30 (https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/SBFGGMJ).

“Getting feedback and insight from the very people who utilize and benefit from our services will help us continue in our mission of offering world-class programs to New Orleans citizens,” said Vic Richard, CEO of NORDC.

Aside from standard demographic and communication-oriented questions, the 32-question survey asked participants to state what thoughts immediately came to mind when they thought of NORDC. Other questions focused on what activities would people like NORDC to start doing and which ones they want NORDC to stop doing. If a customer’s biggest concern or suggestion was not covered by the queries, there is another comments section at the end.

Richard said that the organization always welcomes feedback and community participation, but the structured, third-party survey gave NORDC an opportunity to be proactive in seeking the opinions of community members.

“Successful companies and governments across the country pride themselves on public input, engagement, and evaluation,” Richard said. “They also listen to the needs and desires expressed by the customers.”

Richard said a major challenge the organization faces is attracting and retaining talent to match the recent growth (five new facilities are slated to open in the next 18 months). He hopes Mayor Mitch Landrieu’s “Great Place to Work Initiative” will help solve these challenges.

The Public’s Wishes

Jeremy Mancheski, baseball commissioner at Carrollton Boosters, echoed the need for NORDC to increase its personnel. He suggested that a core of quality volunteers from within the community can help develop programs for sports like baseball from the lower ages (5 & 6) on up.

“The payoff in terms of involvement and participation will be significant if NORD can reach out to the community and get this volunteer interest,” Mancheski said.

Kyle Saucier, a parent of three soccer-playing children, hopes NORDC will exhibit more control over the way individual parks are run. Saucier, who helps coach his sons’ team, said the team had difficulty securing fields for practices. They attempted to rent space from various NORDC facilities, but had trouble finding decision makers even though they were willing to pay money for the fields and for improvements.

“It seems like each field has its own coach running the show at the park level,” Saucier said. “The powers that be (at NORDC) seemed to have little desire or ability to control activities at the park level. We attempted to enter into a long-term agreement on some evening space at one facility only for that written agreement to be disregarded later in the season to accommodate other groups.”

This article originally published in the April 21, 2014 print edition of The Louisiana Weekly newspaper.

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