Highland News Leader

Madison County government, courts ask public to complete surveys

Madison County residents have two chances to give input on local government.

The Third Circuit Court, which includes Madison and Bond counties, is conducting a survey asking court users about their personal experiences with the local court system, and Madison County Community Development is currently conducting a survey of county residents on community needs and priorities.

Courts survey

The term “court user” applies to all courthouse users including attorneys, visitors, litigants, students, media, and the public.

“I am very interested in learning of any ways that we can make our courthouses in Madison and Bond counties more user-friendly,” said Chief Judge David Hylla.” After all, the citizens who use our courts are also the taxpayers who pay for them. Everyone who works in these buildings, including me and the rest of the judges, are public servants. I hope we learn a lot.”

The survey will enable courts to measure and determine the quality of services provided by the court. Such matters may include users’ views on how well they were treated; how easy they were able to obtain information; did they feel they were heard in court; and whether the end result was fair; etc. Survey forms will be available in both English and Spanish .

Anyone who shows up at the courthouse should see people passing out the forms.

“Ask for one. Fill it out and place it in box located at the courthouse. They are done anonymously,” said Teri Picchioldi, trial court administrator.

The Illinois Supreme Court authorized the survey and it was developed by the Strategic Planning Committee of the Illinois Judicial Conference, chaired by Fourth District Appellate Justice Carol Pope and the Administrative Office of the Illinois Courts.

“Our goal is to measure court users’ opinions and gain insight into how courts are perceived,” said Illinois Supreme Court Chief Justice Rita Garman. “It is the court’s obligation to be accountable and provide justice in a fair, equitable and expeditious manner, and therefore, we look forward to the end results of this survey. After the surveys are compiled and reviewed, we can then decide what action, if any, is necessary to improve and promote the public’s trust and confidence in the court system.”

Community Development survey

The results of the survey will be used in the development of the 2015-2019 Consolidated Plan, the strategic plan which prioritizes the expenditures of Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) and Community Services Block Grant (CSBG) programs administered by the Community Development Department on behalf of the U.S. Department of Housing & Urban Development (HUD).

Frank Miles, Madison County Community Development administrator, said the information of county residents is essential.

“The information provided by county residents is vital. As we quickly approach the final development of the Consolidated Plan, we need the input from our residents,” Miles said. “The best way to find out what the people of Madison County need, what will help improve our communities and the quality of life for our residents is to obtain information directly from them. By participating in the survey, our residents will give us the information we need to effectively help them. ”

Madison County residents can complete the survey by going online through the website surveymonkey.com.

“Completing the survey only takes a few minutes and the information obtained will go a long way to helping make Madison County an even better place to live,” Miles said.

The survey results will also be used to identify the problems and needs of low-income families and help detail accessible resources to meet those needs for the CSBG Program. Funding for this program is provided by the Department of Health & Human Services and administered by the Illinois Department of Commerce & Economic Opportunity and Madison County Community Development.

For additional information on the survey, or to obtain paper copy of the survey, contact the Madison County Community Development department at (618) 296-8940.