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Survey says city needs to work on infrastructure

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From the Kansas City Business Journal

Survey: KC residents say infrastructure is top priority

A survey of Kansas Citians found infrastructure at the top of the list of what they want city leaders to focus on in the next two years.

 

Seventy-two percent of those surveyed in the City Services Performance Report for Fiscal Year 2003 chose maintenance of streets, buildings and facilities among the top three areas of emphasis, City Auditor Mark Funkhouser said Tuesday. That is up from 62 percent the previous year, he said.

"Seventy-two percent of a random sampling of citizens saying anything -- that's amazing," Funkhouser said. "And 48 percent say it's their top choice. I would call that a virtual consensus."

Among the findings of the survey are:

66 percent of respondents said Kansas City is a good place to live.

57 percent said Kansas City is a good place to work, down from 66 percent in 2002.

52 percent gave Kansas City a rating of 4 or 5 for its desirability as a place to raise children; a 5 rating means "very satisfied."

The report doesn't say whether the city is doing a good job in any of the areas addressed in the survey, Funkhouser said. The objective, he said, is to encourage public discussion about the city's performance and the public's expectations of the city's performance.

"The average person can draw conclusions based on their own criteria of where things ought to be," Funkhouser said. "In terms of satisfaction, we're almost always behind other area cities. Is that bad? Some would say it's not, because it's harder to deliver services in the urban core than in the suburbs. But others would point out that the urban core is competing with the suburbs."

The survey also includes the percentage of respondents who rated various aspects and services of the city as 4 or 5, with 5 meaning "very satisfied":

Overall quality of services -- 52 percent

Overall quality of life -- 57 percent

Police, fire and ambulance -- 69 percent

Water and sewer utilities -- 65 percent

Customer service -- 56 percent

Parks and recreation -- 55 percent

City codes enforcement -- 48 percent

Stormwater runoff system -- 46 percent

Effectiveness of city's communication with public -- 43 percent

Street/building maintenance -- 21 percent.

The ETC Institute conducted the survey by phone in November and December. It included 1,210 households and had a 52 percent response rate.

At least 200 respondents completed the survey in each of the city's six council districts. The survey's margin of error is plus or minus 3 percent.

The city paid the ETC Institute $26,000 to conduct the survey, Funkhouser said.

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