The City of Independence has released the results of the 2016 Citizen Survey. The citizen survey was conducted by ETC Institute to measure the satisfaction of Independence residents with various city services. This is the eighth time the City of Independence has administered a citizen survey, the last survey having been conducted in 2013. The results determine priorities of the community as part of the City Council’s on-going strategic planning process.
The seven-page survey was administered by mail, phone and online to a random sampling of households in the City of Independence. A total of 661 households completed the survey. The results of the random sample of households are statistically valid at a 95% level of confidence with a precision of at least a +/- 3.8%. Demographics were analyzed to ensure that the survey respondents were representative of the community as a whole.
“Thank you to all of the 661 citizens who took time to complete the citizen survey,” said Independence Mayor Eileen Weir. “The feedback we received from our residents is paramount to the City Council as we set our strategic goals for the coming years. The better we are able to understand the wants and needs of our citizens, the better we can work to improve the community.”
Of the citizens who were surveyed, 55% said they are satisfied with the quality of life in Independence and 70% gave a positive rating to the City as a place to live. City services that received the highest level of satisfaction were fire services (86%), water and sanitary sewer utilities (71%), police services (71%), electric utilities (69%) and parks and recreation programs/facilities (68%).
The results of the survey showed the overall satisfaction down two points since the last survey was administered in 2013. Jason Morado, Senior Project Manager with ETC Institute stated that, “ETC observed similar slight declines in satisfaction ratings in many of its surveys conducted nationwide this year.” The overall satisfaction score for all communities surveyed in the Kansas City metropolitan area decreased by one point from 2013. Independence ranked at or above the Kansas City metropolitan average for six of nine service areas evaluated. Overall, the City of Independence has improved by 12 points since the first survey was administered in 2000.
“City staff is pleased to get the results of our Citizen Survey and look forward to analyzing the data and working with the City Council to improve the quality of life for our citizens,” said Independence City Manager Zachary Walker.
According to the survey 83% of residents feel safe in their neighborhood during the day. Most (93%) of residents feel it is important to preserve the City’s historic sites and 89% feel it is important to maintain the character of the Independence Square. The top three reasons that residents reported for staying in the City of Independence for the next ten years are: affordable housing (59%), proximity to family and friends (50%), and access to a variety of shopping and entertainment options (44%).
ETC Institute conducted an Importance-Satisfaction (I-S) Analysis in order to help the City of Independence identify investment priorities for the next two years to improve overall satisfaction. This analysis examined both the importance that citizens place on City services and the level of satisfaction with those services. Based on the Importance-Satisfaction (I-S) Analysis, the ETC Institute recommended these three major priorities for investment over the next two years:
The City Council will use the feedback provide by the citizen survey to develop a City Strategic Plan, which is anticipated to be completed by early January 2017.
View the complete results of the Citizen Survey by clicking here. The complete report includes additional information such as the survey instrument, open-ended comments, and maps of the results according to census block groups.