San Carlos, Calif., Puts Quality-of-Life Survey Online; Wins Cabletron Grant

San Carlos, Calif., last week put a survey online asking citizens to rate the quality of life of the city in four areas: transportation, culture, economic development and education.

Mayor Sylvia Nelson's office had been developing ways to improve the quality of life in the San Francisco Bay area community since May. "The sky's the limit on this," Nelson said. "If there's a consensus on what people want then it's up to the city and the whole community to figure out how to do it."

Assistant city manager Brian Moura said the survey, which also includes a series of essay questions, could be used again if it is effective in gauging citizen reactions. "If this project is well-received, we'll use the technology to get citizen input on other things."

Residents have until Aug. 23 to respond to the questionnaire.

In addition, the city became a recipient of a Project Connect grant from Rochester, N.H.-based Cabletron Systems Inc. The program provides government, education and nonprofit organizations with networking and computer equipment.

Under the arrangement, the city will receive $25,000 worth of equipment to benefit the San Carlos Special Needs Program, the Kollage Academy of the Arts, and the San Carlos Youth Center, which will house its share of the equipment in its computer lab.

Moura said a chance meeting with Cabletron officials at a recent conference led to the grant. "They mentioned in passing that they were about to start this program and asked if we had any facilities that needed computer equipment," he said. "We said we had more than one but that we couldn't buy what we wanted to due to budget constraints."

Moura said the youth center will have its official grand opening Sept. 7, and couldn't have been built and funded without private donations such as the one from Cabletron.

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