by Mayor Tammy
We just received the results from our City Survey and to say I am pleased with the numbers is an understatement! I can’t tell you how proud I am of our City Staff – all of whom work diligently to provide the best service they can for our customers –you, the citizens of Meridian. We all take pride in working for you!
The last time we conducted this citizen survey was in 2014 and this year the numbers were even higher! There were 743 residents, randomly selected, who completed the survey which resulted in a margin of error plus or minus 3.6% at a 95% level of confidence. I want to thank everyone who took the time to fill out and return the survey; we appreciate hearing from you. Your voice matters! Ninety-three percent of residents surveyed indicated the City meets or exceeds expectations as a place to raise a family, and 92% rated Meridian as a good or excellent place to live. It is clear to me that it’s not just the national publications that rate us as a “Best City to Live in America”, but more importantly, the people who call Meridian home.
As part of the survey our results were compared with other cities in the mountain region and the U.S. The City and our partners rated above the national average in 42 of the 46 areas that were compared, and significantly higher than the U.S. average (difference of 5% or more) in 39 areas, with 35 having a 10% difference or more. Overall quality of City services provided, customer service from City employees, and overall value received for City taxes/fees were each at least 30% higher than the U.S. average.
We live in one of the safest cities in Idaho and 91% of those surveyed said they have an overall feeling of safety in Meridian. We have destinations such as The Village/Big Al’s, Wahooz/Roaring Springs/Pinz, and amazing parks which I believe are second to none. It doesn’t surprise me to see the following services received “excellent” marks from those who completed the survey: place to live, raise a family, access to quality shopping and entertainment, library services, number of city parks, the quality/appearance/maintenance of city parks and athletic fields, overall feeling of safety, quality of local police protection, overall quality of the Fire Department, response to 911 emergencies, safety in city parks, and professionalism of employees responding to emergencies.
While we were thrilled to see the positive results, there remained other important takeaways such as those issues which our residents believe are the highest priorities that should receive emphasis from the City over the next three years: roads/ traffic/ transportation, education/ schools, and growth/development. In addition, jobs and economic development also rated as a high priority issue in the survey. We are excited to see more jobs (10.1% increase last year alone) and companies choosing to call Meridian home! It will be important that City Council and I have a discussion about how we can continue to partner with the West Ada School District, and the Ada County Highway District regarding the first two areas, as well as other stakeholders to bring about solutions to all of these priority issues.
As I noted earlier, the last time the City surveyed the community was three years ago. Overall it is impressive that our survey results improved in 64 of 84 areas from the previous survey! A few City services that saw the highest jump in favorable remarks were in the areas of Communications, Programs for Youth, and Code Enforcement.
To view the complete results click on one of the documents (report provides comprehensive results, appendix shows results by area, presentation is a summary of the results). We will go over the survey in detail at our next Town Hall scheduled for Wednesday, July 26 at 6:30pm at Challenger School in Meridian. I would love to see you there as we discuss these very intriguing results and other City updates with the community.
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