2017 Citizen Satisfaction Survey finds most Stillwater residents feeling positive about city services, quality of life

MEDIA RELEASE

View (PDF): 2017 Citizen Satisfaction Survey Final Report


The results of Stillwater’s recent citizen satisfaction survey are in, and residents gave the City of Stillwater among the best ratings in the nation for quality of life and as a place to raise children.

The City is also setting a standard in other areas, with an overall satisfaction with city services at 22 percent above the U.S. average and overall feeling of safety at 17 percent above the U.S. average.

City Manager Norman McNickle said, “The City of Stillwater strives to be the best in service delivery and customer service, and in order to monitor our progress in meeting residents’ needs, we believe it was important to ask them what they are thinking.”

The survey results and analyses will provide Stillwater City Council and City staff with information to make sound, strategic decisions in a variety of areas, including service improvements and enhancements, measuring and tracking internal performance, budgeting, policy, and planning.

General Perceptions:

  • Eighty-six percent (86%) of the residents surveyed, who had an opinion, were “very satisfied” or “satisfied” (rating of 4 or 5 on a 5-point scale) with the overall quality of life in Stillwater; 83% were “very satisfied” or “satisfied” with the City as a place to raise children, and 71% were “very satisfied” or “satisfied” with Stillwater as a place to work.
  • Eighty-eight percent (88%) of residents surveyed, who had an opinion, were “very satisfied” or “satisfied” (rating of 4 or 5 on a 5-point scale) with the feeling of safety in their neighborhood. Other areas that received ratings of “very satisfied” or “satisfied” include: overall feeling of safety in the City (86%), overall image of the City (74%), and physical appearance of neighborhoods (73%).

“In addition to useful feedback about city services, the survey also provides insight about a possible general obligation bond election,” Director of Marketing and Public Relations Sherry Fletcher said. “To nobody’s surprise, residents are most concerned about the condition of the streets.”

  • Most (94%) of the residents surveyed, who had an opinion, indicated that street maintenance and rehabilitation was a “very important” or important” capital improvement project (rating of 4 or 5 on a 5-point scale); 85% felt drainage control/flood prevention infrastructure was “very important” or “important,” and 84% felt fire stations and equipment were “very important” or “important.” Of the 16 capital improvement projects residents were asked to consider, street maintenance and rehabilitation was the most important, based on the sum of their top two choices.

The seven-page survey, which was administered by ETC Institute, was mailed to a random sample of households throughout Stillwater.

The results for the random sample of 502 households have a 95% level of confidence with a precision of at least +/- 4.4%. There were no statistically significant differences in the results of the survey based on the method of administration (mail, phone, online). To ensure that households throughout the City were well represented, ETC Institute geocoded the home address of respondents to the survey.

The final report is available on the City of Stillwater’s website at Stillwater.org.

Customer Services

  • Of the 36% of respondents who called or visited the City with a question, problem, or complaint during the past year, 74% who had an opinion were “very satisfied” or “satisfied” (rating of 4 or 5 on a 5-point scale) with the professionalism and courtesy of the employee they contacted; 70% indicated they were “very satisfied” or “satisfied” with how easy it was to contact the person they needed, and 65% were “very satisfied” or “satisfied” with how quickly the City responded to their concern.

Police Services

  • Eighty-one percent (81%) of residents surveyed, who had an opinion, were “very satisfied” or “satisfied” (rating of 4 or 5 on a 5-point scale) with the overall quality of police services; 80% were “very satisfied” or “satisfied” with the effectiveness of local police protection, and 78% were “very satisfied” or “satisfied” with how quickly police respond to emergencies. Residents were least satisfied with parking enforcement services (60% “very satisfied” or “satisfied”).
  • Based on the sum of their top two choices, the police services that residents felt should receive the most emphasis from City leaders over the next two years were: (1) the City’s overall efforts to prevent crime and (2) the visibility of police in neighborhoods.

Fire, Rescue, and Medical Emergency Services

  • Ninety percent (90%) of residents surveyed, who had an opinion, were “very satisfied” or “satisfied” (rating of 4 or 5 on a 5-point scale) with the overall quality of local fire protection and rescue services; 86% were “very satisfied” or “satisfied” with the professionalism of responding Fire Department personnel, and 78% were “very satisfied” or “satisfied” with the overall quality of local emergency medical services. Residents were least satisfied with the overall inspection and code enforcement process (69% “very satisfied” or “satisfied”).
  • Based on the sum of their top two choices, the fire, rescue, and medical emergency services that residents felt should receive the most emphasis from City leaders over the next two years were: (1) the overall quality of local emergency medical services and (2) the overall quality of local fire protection and rescue services.

Mobility and Infrastructure

  • Two-thirds (66%) of the residents surveyed, who had an opinion, were “very satisfied” or “satisfied” (rating of 4 or 5 on a 5-point scale) with the maintenance of street signs and traffic signals in the City; 58% were “very satisfied” or “satisfied” with the overall ease of parking near the areas they usually visit, and 50% were “very satisfied” or “satisfied” with the adequacy of street lighting. Residents were least satisfied with the overall maintenance of streets (18% “very satisfied” or “satisfied”).
  • Based on the sum of their top two choices, the areas of mobility and infrastructure that residents felt should receive the most emphasis from City leaders over the next two years were: (1) the overall maintenance of streets and (2) the overall adequacy of the City’s street drainage.

Neighborhood Services

  • Sixty-six percent (66%) of residents surveyed, who had an opinion, were “very satisfied” or “satisfied” (rating of 4 or 5 on a 5-point scale) with the overall cleanliness of streets and other public areas; 50% were “very satisfied” or “satisfied” with the overall quality of neighborhood services, and 41% were “very satisfied” or “satisfied” with enforcing clean-up of trash and debris on private property. Residents were least satisfied with enforcing exterior maintenance of residential property (35% “very satisfied” or “satisfied”).
  • Based on the sum of their top two choices, the neighborhood services that residents felt should receive the most emphasis from City leaders over the next two years were: (1) enforcing clean-up of trash and debris on private property and (2) overall cleanliness of streets and other public areas.

Parks and Recreation Services

  • Eighty-two percent (82%) of residents surveyed, who had an opinion, were “very satisfied” or “satisfied” (rating of 4 or 5 on a 5-point scale) with the overall quality of city parks; 79% were “very satisfied” or “satisfied” with the maintenance of city parks, landscapes and facilities, and 77% were “very satisfied” or “satisfied” with the quality of park facilities such as picnic shelters, playgrounds and splash pads. Residents were least satisfied with the quality of the City swimming pool and programs (53% “very satisfied” or “satisfied”).
  • Based on the sum of their top two choices, the parks and recreation services that residents felt should receive the most emphasis from City leaders over the next two years were: (1) maintenance of city parks, landscapes and facilities and (2) the quality of the City’s walking and biking trails.

Cultural, Artistic, and Historic Endeavors

  • Eighty percent (80%) of residents surveyed, who had an opinion, were “very satisfied” or “satisfied” (rating of 4 or 5 on a 5-point scale) with the quality of programs and activities at the Stillwater Public Library; 71% were “very satisfied” or “satisfied” with the quality of the City’s annual special events, and 68% were “very satisfied” or “satisfied” with the quality of programs and activities at the City’s Sheerar Museum of Stillwater History. Residents were least satisfied with the quality of public art (e.g. statues, murals) (57% “very satisfied” or “satisfied”).

Other Findings

  • More than half (51%) of residents indicated they get information about City of Stillwater programs and services from the City website; 44% get their information from newspapers and 42% from utility bill inserts.
  • Most (91%) of the residents surveyed, who had an opinion, indicated it was “very important” or important” (rating of 4 or 5 on a 5-point scale) to develop and implement programs to retain and support existing businesses; 91% felt it was “very important” or “important” to create and attract a diversified, vibrant, and sustainable economy through attraction and support of businesses, and 67% felt it was “very important” or “important” to attract tourism to the area.
  • Of the residents surveyed who had an opinion, cities they would like to see Stillwater Regional Airport provide daily air service to and from include: Denver, Colorado (39%), Chicago, Illinois (25%), Atlanta, Georgia (13%), Washington, D.C. (6%), and other cities (17%).
  • Most (97%) of the residents surveyed, who had an opinion, indicated that Stillwater’s outdoor storm siren system was a “very important” or important” part of severe weather notifications (rating of 4 or 5 on a 5-point scale). Other methods of severe weather notification residents indicated were “very important” or “important” include: notifications on personal smart phone or tablet (87%) and messages on television cable channels (77%).