City staff survey residents, visitors on ‘why Selma’

City of Selma staff ask for feedback, perspective on what makes the city stand out and where there is room for improvement

An overhead view of downtown in the city of Selma.
An overhead view of downtown in the city of Selma.
Serena Bettis
Published January 18, 2024  • 
10:00 am

SELMA – The city of Selma asked residents and visitors alike to answer the question “why Selma?” through an online survey that inquired about the spirit behind the “raisin capital of the world.”

The city released the brief survey on Jan. 8, and accepted responses through the afternoon of Jan. 17. Economic Development Manager Alicia Aguirre said the survey was a “vital opportunity” for individuals to express their own views on some of the city’s operations. 

“Our primary goal is to comprehensively analyze and understand communication preferences, community perception and potential areas for improvement,” Aguirre said. 

Open to people who live in Selma, have friends and family in Selma, work in Selma or are considering moving to Selma, respondents were asked optional questions about their name, age and preferred language to communicate in, as well as how they prefer to receive communications from city officials. 

The survey then included 11 short-answer questions for non business owners and had additional questions for business owners and managers on its second page.

Questions revolved around what makes Selma unique and what the “spirit” or vibe of the city is. City staff also requested respondents to provide any comments that would help them with “developing a marketing and awareness strategy for Selma,” according to the survey.

Aguirre said the questions were structured to provide city staff with insights into their target audience — which she said was “Selma’s vibrant community” — so they could gather feedback that would enhance the experience of living in, working in and visiting Selma.

The survey asked about what family support resources — such as childcare and doctors — are available to residents in the city, and which resources that are available could be “leveraged to a greater capacity.” This was to help the city gather public opinion on existing programs and services, “providing an avenue to gauge their alignment with the values of our dynamic community,” Aguirre said.

City staff also wanted to know what attracts people to move to Selma, providing examples like “affordable homes” and “location,” and what may keep people from moving to the area as well. 

In questions specifically for local business owners or people who manage or lead businesses within the city, the survey asked about what prevents a business from moving to Selma and what industries might do well in the city. 

It also tested out which vocational training programs the respondent was aware of or has used in the past. 

“Through this valuable feedback, the City of Selma aspires to strengthen its connection with the community and implement positive changes that resonate with the collective vision for a vibrant and thriving Selma,” Aguirre said. 

Residents can also share their feedback, concerns or questions with city staff by calling Selma City Hall at 559-891-2200 or by visiting the city’s website. The “City Council” page of the city website lists the email of each council member so that constituents can get ahold of them as well. 

Serena Bettis
General Assignment Reporter