In the early years, League staff wanted to know what made cities tick, what the cost of doing business was in each city, and what that business was. We built our foundation on gathering that information, and couldn't have done it without the participation of municipalities.
That was just the start. For example, in League archives, we have kept many a record of satisfaction survey results and testimonials from members.
From a 1920s testimonial by J. N. Nicholsen, Austin:
" 'In union there is strength.' Many of our municipal problems are individual, but many also are the same problems that our sister cities have, and it is an assistance to us to know how these problems have been solved in other cities of our class." (Well put, Mr. Nicholsen!)
From 1946 Annual Conference survey comments of N. Schochet, Coleraine:
"... Some consideration should be given to newly elected officials, such as a meeting or two like a primary school for municipal officials, taking their functions in general and allowing time for questions." (Great idea! Sound familiar? )
From anonymous comments on social entertainment, 1960:
"No more smorgasbords as they take too much time—no more steaks as they are often too tough—provide a dance (for the ladies' benefit.)" (Hey, you can't please everyone.)
Members continue to demonstrate the value of the League by taking the time to provide compliments and constructive criticism, making their own organization stronger. More recently, we set up a video camera at the 2012 Annual Conference to ask members to share what they value about the League.
Their enthusiasm is the kind of fuel that will sustain League activities for years to come. Want to share your own thoughts on the value of the League? Let us know in the comments!
Check back on Friday for a centennial blog survey, and another chance to talk to us!