That’s the gist of the Citizen Survey conducted by the City of Georgetown every two years. The results of the most recent survey completed this summer are encouraging, but they do point to areas where we need to continue to focus our efforts today and in the future.
As we did in 2016, the City hired the Texas State University Center for Public Policy, Research, and Training to conduct the anonymous poll. The survey is intended to measure the perceptions of residents. It was mailed to 2,300 households in Georgetown and 469 residents responded. The margin of error was 4 percent.
So what are the key findings? This year, 81 percent of residents polled said the value of city services for taxes paid was good or excellent. And 98 percent of respondents rate the overall quality of life in Georgetown as good or excellent.
The common benchmark for city surveys is to have 80 percent or more of respondents indicated that a service is good or excellent. The city met or exceeded that benchmark on 82 percent of cases (32 of 39 indicators).
Since 2016, perceptions of the quality of street repair, city beautification, the City as a place to work, and emergency preparedness are all up.
Below are some more results from the survey.
For emergency services, including fire, police, and EMS, 96 percent of respondents gave a rating of good or excellent. And 93 percent rated emergency services as good or excellent.
Ninety-five percent of respondents rated city parks as good or excellent and 98 percent rated the public library services as good or excellent.
For utility services, 92 percent rated electric services as good or excellent and 90 percent said that water services are good or excellent.
We know that safety is an important concern, so it’s good news that 90 percent of respondents rated neighborhood safety at night as good or excellent and 88 percent rated safety in city parks as good or excellent.
When asked about interactions with City employees, 54 percent had contact with a city employee in the last year and 91 percent rated the service provided by the employee as good or excellent overall.
Overall, these results are encouraging.
So where can we improve?
Traffic and growth-related pressures were the top concern on this survey and in past surveys. We asked residents about the top priorities for Georgetown. The top three cited were: 1. Traffic, 2. Infrastructure and roads, and 3. Managing growth.
Not surprisingly in our growing city, the rating for traffic flow on major streets decreased by 16 percent. And the percentage who rated traffic flow as poor increased from 18 percent to 28 percent from 2016.
This result of our fast-growing city is one of the main reasons that voters approved $105 million in new transportation projects in 2015. We continue to direct significant resources to mobility through these city bond projects and we are working with Williamson County and state and federal transportation agencies for other regional transportation projects.
We think it’s important to find out how we are doing, and these results are encouraging in many ways. They also point to areas like new roads and mobility where we should continue to focus our efforts.
If you want to read the complete survey results, look for the Citizen Survey 2018 Report link on the City homepage at georgetown.org.