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Citizen Survey Results Show Positive Growth

The National Citizens Survey results show growing satisfaction by Snellville's citizens in key areas of city administration reflecting improved quality of life and positive economic development.

At the July 23 City Council Meeting, Councilman Tom Witts gave a presentation reflecting comparisons between the 2010 National Citizen Survey and the 2012 Survey which showed that beyond the bad press that Snellville sometimes receives, citizens are generally satisfied with the progress that city leaders have made towards their goals.

The National Citizen Survey (The NCS), a collaborative effort between National ResearchCenter, Inc. (NRC) and the International City/County Management Association (ICMA), was developed by NRC to provide a statistically valid survey of resident opinions about community and services provided by local government. Staff and elected officials find the results useful in making decisions concerning community planning and resource allocation, and policy making. It is used to identify community and service strengths and weaknesses.

The Immediate Goal of the NCS is to provide useful information for planning, resource allocation, performance measurement, program and policy evaluation

Long Term Goals using the assessment give guidance towards improved services, more civic engagement, better community quality of life, and stronger public trust.

  • Participating households were selected at random and multiple mailings were made to each household.
  • Results were statistically weighted to reflect the proper demographic composition of the entire community.
  • Approximately 1200 surveys were sent out and a total of 359 completed surveys were obtained, providing an overall response rate of 31%.
  • Typically, response rates obtained on citizen surveys range from 25% to 40%.
  • Snellville's NCS was developed with cooperation of the staff who selected items from a menu of questions about services and community problems.  

According to Witts, Snellville's first NCS was in February or March of 2010. It was suggested by Russell Treadway and approved by the council in order to "get a feel of the citizenry and their feelings about Snellville's government." The 2010 NCS served as a base line; subsequent success or failure to improve will be measured by subsequent surveys - every two years - against the 2010 NCS.

  • The survey contained 104 questions
  • 26 markers showed static or no change in satisfaction. This is not necessarily bad as some of these questions reflected high satisfaction in the 2010 NCS.
  • Of the remaining issues, 27 reflected marginal growth in the eyes of the citizens and
  • 51 showed statistically significant improvement.

"The Survey is a report card on how the public perceives the City. It covers city services, taxes, elected officials, economic development, quality of life, and quality of place," says Witts.  "I am encouraged by the advances that were made in 2010 and 2011 based on the results of the 2012 NCS. People are paying attention and noticing the difference."

Snellville's survey focused mostly on Sense of Community, Improved Economic Development, and Improved Public Trust. Witts said that since 2010, among the events and circumstances that he feels which occurred to create a growing satisfaction among citizens are those activities coordinated by Snellville Tourism and Trade along with the efforts of Eric Van Otteren, Snellville's Economic Development Manager.

A pdf of the comparison summary has been included; we've also included the 2012 document for those who would like to sift through the total 103 pages.

So what do you think of the city's efforts to improve a sense of community, trust in the administration and economic development?

Bobby Howard July 25, 2012 at 12:41 PM
Crystal, Thank you so very much for your kind words regarding all the good stuff going on here in Snellville. As you so aptly note, STAT, The Award Winning Snellville Farmers Market, The Beach Blast, Coffee with Council and most recently The Star Spangled Snellville event were all GREAT events and all of us are PROUD of. The information gathered from the National Citizen Survey should only INSPIRE all of us to do greater things to strengthen our community. Most notably the formation of the Snellville Community Garden, implementation of CODE RED and NIXLE just to mention a few. Economic Development Manager Eric Van Otteren 's department has worked hard to develop a working relationship with business and Schools here in the city and just recently won an award from the ARC CREATE Community Awards for Regional Prosperity and Economic Development along with South Gwinnett High School . Let's not forget AIMEE'S WEEKEND. It is this spirit of community that is gaining momentum right here in Snellville.... With your leadership at the helm of Snellville Patch, you will also share in the many successes here in Snellville..Keep up the good work! Snellville......Where Everybody is PROUD to be Somebody! Bobby Howard Proud Member of the Snellville City Council
Tom Witts July 25, 2012 at 01:17 PM
In my opinion the survey reflects the City Council's commitment over the two years to emphasizing Community. Nothing would have happened however without the amazing volunteers, Snellville residents, who believed in the vision of that council and made the vision reality. The Farmers' Market is the best example. We also had a period of 24 months without the negative press that had proceeded that period. When the local government and the people works together to make good things happen; Good things happen. Tom Witts Mayor Pro Tem
Crystal Huskey July 25, 2012 at 01:38 PM
Gretchen Shulz told me about the fence that was approved for the Community Garden. I'll be checking back with her in a couple months to do a more in depth piece on that, and let all of you know how you can get a plot. Good stuff, thanks for sharing guys!
Dave Emanuel July 25, 2012 at 06:47 PM
I ran for City Council largely because I was inspired by the positive changes made by the majority of Council members during 2010 and 2011. I wanted to be a part of carrying those positive changes forward and making our City an even better place to live and work. Councilman Howard and Mayor Pro Tem Witts have addressed many of the things we have accomplished during the eight months the current Council has been in office. However, our positive momentum has not carried forward without some difficulty. Some examples-- only four members of of Council (Emanuel, Howard, Krause and Witts) voted in favor of the portable stage. Only four members of Council voted in favor of fencing for the Community Garden. Only four members of Council worked to develop a budget that saves taxpayers 14% on their property taxes. I think you get my drift. But to a degree, the discouragement we encountered in the past will have nothing to do with the future. I believe the record conclusively demonstrates that Bobby Howard, Diane Krause, Tom Witts and myself are resolute in doing what we believe to be in the best interests of our citizens. I can assure you that we will continue to do that. I believe absolutely in this council and am confident that I understand the viewpoints and motivations of each member. And in spite of disagreements and attempts at political posturing, the majority of Council will reach the consensus needed to do what's best for the city and its citizens.
Kenneth Stepp July 27, 2012 at 10:05 PM
Great leadership has made Snellville a better place. Dave, Tom, and Bobby, you should be proud of the job you guys have done.

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