Survey says…. good job, libraries, parks!

Published 12:00 am Friday, August 19, 2005

Public safety services, libraries and city parks got the highest marks in a community survey for the second year running.

Maintenance of city roads and streets, traffic flow and the city effort’s to communicate with residents dominated the bottom of the satisfaction thermometer.

The random telephone polling of 300 citizens by the Norfolk-based Continental Research Associates earlier this summer shows that people are largely satisfied with city services, Jeannine Perry, a senior project manager with the company, told the Suffolk City Council Wednesday afternoon.

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The $8,300 survey – the second one done in as many years – is meant to help city leaders track residents’ satisfaction levels with life in Suffolk, said Dennis Craff, spokesman for the city.

&uot;It lets us keep a finger on the pulse of the community,&uot; he said.

The marketing firm called residents throughout the city with the 18-minute questionnaire between June 13 and July 5.

Some facts and figures from the survey:

-Satisfaction levels with the Suffolk Fire Department and Suffolk Police Department are 98.7 and 94 percent respectively.

-About 89 percent – the same as last year – believe Suffolk is a safe place to live and offers a good quality of life.

-More than 75 percent believe residential growth has been good for the city; 81 percent say the commercial growth is positive for the community.

-Nearly 79 percent of 13 people polled who are Charter Cable subscribers are satisfied the service.

-About 30 percent of residents recalled receiving the city brochure on council priorities in the mail.

-Of the 158 people who had contact with the city, 77 percent were satisfied with response to the issue.

Approximately 40 percent of the people interviewed were in their 40s and 50s, with about a third having children under age 18. Eighty percent are homeowners.

Although calls were made to all parts of the city, more than 60 percent of them went to residents living in and around downtown (23434 Zip Code). About 27 percent of the calls were to northern Suffolk homes (23435 Zip Code).

The remaining calls were split among the city’s remaining Zip Codes.