At the pool

Sunset Empire swim instructor works with swim lesson participants.

One of the joys of working in a publicly funded government agency is the opportunity to received feedback and strive for improvement to better serve our community.

Hardly a day goes by where I don’t receive some form of feedback from one of our wonderful patrons and community members.

For the last year or so the Sunset Empire Park and Recreation Board of Directors prioritized this feedback process and the District has taken several measured steps to both provide opportunities for patrons to give us feedback and for district staff to listen to that feedback. Both steps are crucial in our improvement and in our goals of serving our entire community. Please allow me to share some of our experiences and steps taken along this way.

First, we wanted to gauge our customer experiences. We placed an iPad with 3-5 survey questions at exit points of District facilities. The questions were simple to answer and typically featured some combination of emoji responses or a simple “thumbs up” or “thumbs down.” The device has rotated between the Sunset Pool, the Seaside Youth Center and the Bob Chisholm Community Center.

The results have been wonderful and impactful. We have heard 2,639 unique responses to our questions and have learned powerful lessons along the way. For instance, when we asked patrons “How would you rate your experience at the SEPRD pool today?” Of our respondents, 81% gave us 4 out of 4 stars!

We often receive feedback about the Sunset Pool temperature as we always work to maintain an appropriate temperature for the varied activities that occur there. When we asked our patrons this question, we received 111 responses and 63 of those individuals indicated that the pool temperature is “just right.”

These were all promising results. The district also invested some time in sending out a massive, community survey to gauge our district residents and guests and determine how we could serve them better.

The survey kicked off in August and thus far, has received over 400 responses. We’re asking about lots of things but one of my favorite questions is the open-ended query, “What programs or facilities do you wish that SEPRD offered but does not currently?”

I look forward to an upcoming board meeting, likely November or December, where I present the full results of the survey to the board of directors and, more importantly, the opportunity to seek improvement and better the lives of our community residents and guests.

Our mission is to “invite and inspire our entire community to engage in P.L.A.Y! (Positive Life Activities for You) and we can always improve in that area. We hope that this survey will play a big part in our progression as an agency that you can trust and one that is responsive in meeting your needs.

We encourage you to take our survey by going to Those that complete the survey and enter their email address will be entered to win a smart watch or a three-month pass to SEPRD. More information or a direct link are available at our website:

Skyler Archibald is the Executive Director of the Sunset Empire Park and Recreation District.

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