An online community survey released earlier this year details that the top three priorities for Odessans included invest in infrastructure, support Ector County ISD and improving public safety.

Opportunity Odessa launched the survey as it was funded by Grow Odessa. The results of the online community survey were detailed in a presentation on Wednesday morning in the Wolfcamp Room at the Odessa Marriott Hotel and Conference Center.

Lorraine Perryman, a co-chair for Opportunity Odessa, said during Wednesday’s presentation the survey was important as she knows Odessans aren’t afraid to share their opinion.

“People have an opinion here and they want to tell you what it is,” Perryman said.

There were 4,187 responses to the survey as 4,014 were in English and 173 were in Spanish.

Collin Sewell, a co-chair for Opportunity Odessa, said he  believes that Odessa is at an inflection point of what it can become in the future.

“If we take advantage of that, we can see the growth go really high,” Sewell said. “If we miss the turn, we could find ourselves in the same place as we are today and potentially not quite as good a decade from now.”

Opportunity Odessa co-chair Collin Sewell speaks about his grandfather coming to Odessa to start his business during Opportunity Odessa’s Community Survey 2021 results conference Wednesday at the Odessa Marriott Hotel & Conference Center. The Opportunity Odessa Steering Committee is comprised of 24 well known local figures that strive to prepare a long-term community vision and to facilitate their successful completion. (Jacob Ford|Odessa American)

The 12 priorities for making Odessa a more appealing place to live, work and prosper over the next 10 years included in the survey were supporting ECISD, investing in existing and new amenities, invest in infrastructure, leverage the higher education assets, build up Odessa’s local workforce, improve public safety, transform downtown Odessa, work with West Odessa, support the growth and development of Odessa’s major healthcare assets, ensure that Odessa receives its fair share of state and federal funding, enhance the community’s image and expand the support of housing in Odessa.

The top three in the survey were to invest in infrastructure, support Ector County ISD and improve public safety.

The bottom three in the survey were to enhance the community’s image, transform downtown Odessa and work with West Odessa.

ECISD Superintendent Scott Muri listened to the presentation and said after the meeting that this reaffirms the public’s position on the importance of education.

“It’s humbling that our community recognizes that the education of our children is critically important to the future of our community,” Muri said. “When 4,100 people in our community say that in a survey, it validates the work that we do, but it also validates the importance of education in the lives of our kids and the lives of our families.

“People understand this is the future and we must invest in our kids.”