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?