Auburn, AL – The results of the 2013 Citizen Survey were presented to the Auburn City Council at the Tuesday, April 16 City Council meeting, with residents giving high marks to City services, the overall value received for their tax dollar and the quality of life in Auburn.
“You’re clearly setting the standard for other cities,” said Chris Tatham, President of the ETC Institute. During the presentation, Tatham focused on satisfaction with the quality of city services (83% satisfied, 27 points above the national average) and satisfaction with the value received for taxes and fees (77% satisfied, 30 points above the national average) calling them two of the most important measures in gauging the “health of city government.”
Tatham called satisfaction with the value received for taxes “tremendous,” and “a new high” in ETC’s city surveys. “In most communities, fewer than half the residents give positive ratings. Here in Auburn, 77% feel good about what they’re paying for their taxes and fees given the value that they get. Only 8% are dissatisfied,” said Tatham. “So for every person that complains that you’re not providing good value for their taxes, there are 10 people out there that actually think the exact opposite.”
The survey compares results to previous years, and to the national average, showing that Auburn’s ratings improved or stayed the same in 59 areas since 2006, improved or stayed the same in 50 areas over last year and exceeded the national average in 57 areas. Trend analysis showed no long-term, statistically significant declines in ratings since 2006.
This year’s survey showed that city leaders should continue to prioritize traffic flow management and the maintenance of city streets and facilities. The survey also highlighted local concerns about the appearance of Opelika Road and the availability of downtown parking.
“I took a look at some of the plans you have upcoming, things with parking in downtown, improvements to Opelika Road, Parks and Recreation issues you’re taking a look at, they resonate very closely with the needs and expectations you see in the survey,” said Tatham.
On quality of life issues, 95% of residents indicated that they are “satisfied” or “very satisfied” with Auburn as a place to live and raise children. 94% are satisfied with the quality of local schools, placing satisfaction with Auburn City Schools 31 points above the national average.
This year marks the City of Auburn’s 26th consecutive annual survey and the 10th administered by the ETC Institute, a Kansas based research firm. The results give city leaders a scientific measure of the priorities of the community as a whole and are used in the formulation of budget and project priorities.
To see the 2013 Citizen Survey results in full, please go to http://www.auburnalabama.org/survey.