“One of the things we wanted to do for a while is a survey to get some public opinion, not just on trees, but Cleveland beautification,” Williams said. She said the survey was not limited to residents, but included those who work in Cleveland and Bradley County.
More than 400 people took part in the survey with more than 100 participants giving written comments. Questions for the Beautification Survey were patterned after a similar survey in Knoxville, according to Williams.
Williams said the survey could help KAB in planning future projects and knowing what people want. The goal for the tree board is to get the information about public opinion into the hands of leaders in the community.
The Shade Tree Board plans to give the results of the survey to key organizations in the area, including the Cleveland City Council. KAB was the first group to see the results. Williams said many times people are too busy or intimidated to attend public meetings and express their opinion.
“If nobody shows up they think nobody cares,” Williams said of city and county officials.
The survey was distributed using surveymonkey.com making it easy for people to fill out in their spare time.
Joanne Maskew, executive director for KAB, said beautification projects require persistence and contacting the right people. The board discussed progress that had been made in the past in cleaning up signs. Maskew said the signs on 25th Street as one turns off the interstate are a lot better now than in the past.
KAB and Williams discussed the fact advertisement and campaign signs placed on private property without consent are in violation of city ordinances. As a part of beautification efforts, those present have called to have the signs removed, or removed them when placed illegally. Another problem discussed was people leaving piles of garbage on the side of the road. KAB was encouraged to keep up its persistence for beautification in the Cleveland and Bradley County area. Williams said she would like to partner with KAB whenever possible.
Beautification can be implemented by simply adapting a plan that has worked in another area, Williams said.
During the meeting, the KAB also approved the budget and discussed events for the following fiscal year. Many of the KAB committees were unable to meet during January because of inclement weather.