The Yakima City Council held a retreat Tuesday to talk about a recent city survey and how the city can begin to address citizen concerns.  No action was taken, the city council study session was the first step. City leaders went over the survey results to redefine the city's priorities. Five to-the-point goals with specifics. First, the council says the city needs to focus on its 'built environment.  That includes improving roads and sidewalks.  A second priority is economic development. specifically, utilizing places like the mill site and the airport. Public safety is also a priority. The city wants to focus on controlling gangs and property crime like auto theft. It also wants to improve the sense of security downtown. The city says building public trust is key also. It wants to give you more value for your tax dollars.  And lastly, the one of the city's priorities is building partnerships. The survey discovered there's a strong willingness to volunteer.

The survey went a step further and compared Yakima to other cities who've taken the same survey. In the majority of categories, Yakima ranked 'much below' those other cities.  For example, in 'overall image or reputation of Yakima, we ranked in the bottom two of nearly 300 cities.