New Citizen Satisfaction Survey Results Released
By Laurie Fox
Posted on March 28, 2012, March 28, 2012

A recent survey of Arlington residents showed that nearly three quarters of them rate the City moderately high as a place to live, agree that it is headed in the right direction, and would recommend Arlington to others.

The tenth annual Citizens Satisfaction Survey also showed that two thirds of city services received a "good" or "excellent" rating and that emergency, fire and library services scored "top-two-box" ratings above 90 percent. The parks and recreation and water departments also rated among the highest City departments.

Surveyed residents gave code enforcement, zoning services, graffiti removal, Handitran, and health inspection among the lowest ratings.

"It helps to know what to work on each year and how that aligns with the City Council's goals," said Kim Probasco, Arlington's senior performance analyst. "There are always areas to be concerned about, but, by and large, we're very happy with the results."

The survey was conducted differently this year.

Previous surveys used telephone interviews of residents who were identified through water bill information.

The newest survey was conducted online after contacting prospective survey subjects via library and parks department e-mail distribution lists, and mailing lists selected from a total list of occupied city residences using the random sampling method.

Officials said the results yielded responses from a wider cross section of the City than in years past. It also generated a larger number of residents participating in this year's survey.

In the Fiscal Year 2011 survey, more than 92,000 calls were made to yield 309 telephone interviews. In the FY 2012 effort, almost 30,000 survey invitations generated 537 online surveys.

"We tried to make it more scientific and to get a real sampling of the City," Probasco said. "We had people who really wanted to take it online."

She said officials use the data to develop ways to better serve Arlington residents.

"When people look for information, we want them to find what they're looking for and make sure that it's consistent," she said.

Probasco said officials also are trying to communicate information and get it into resident's hands in a "better, faster, more efficient way" through new efforts like recent web site changes and a mobile phone app.

She said one area of concern is in the rating of the quality and maintenance of streets where "good" and "excellent" responses came in at lower than 70 percent in all categories. Residents also listed mobility and transportation, enhancing and preserving neighborhoods, and flood protection as some other areas that need improvement.

The survey showed that Arlington received high marks, 81 percent "excellent" or "good" responses, for efforts to encourage tourism.

Some categories showed a slight decline in the percentage of "top-two-box" ratings over last year. But because of the change in the way the survey was conducted, Decision Analyst, Inc., the company that conducted the survey, cautioned against comparisons in results from previous years.

Read the final report.

Citizen Satisfaction

Citizen Satisfaction Survey
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