Survey finds Avondale residents happy with quality of life

Glenn Gullickson's picture

76% rate city as good place to live

Avondale residents are pleased with the quality of life the city offers and rated public safety and the economy as important issues, according to a survey conducted by the city.

The survey done late last year found that 70 percent of residents rated Avondale’s quality of life as good or excellent and 76 percent rated the city positively as a place to live.

A majority indicated they were likely to continue to live in the city for the next five years.

The study was commissioned by the city and completed by the National Citizen Survey, based on a sample of 706 replies.

Gina Montes, assistant city manager, said that public safety and the economy were ranked among the most important issues by residents.

Six of 10 residents rated their overall feeling of safety positively, but the survey noted that’s lower than levels in a national benchmark of 500 other communities.

Compared to other communities, more Avondale residents indicated they had reported a crime, the study found.

Police, fire, ambulance and animal control got positive ratings.

A majority of residents rated Avondale’s overall economic health positively and nearly all reported purchasing goods and services in the city.

Residents rated Avondale as a good place to work, but few who answered the survey reported working in the city.

While results were in line with past surveys, which were done in-house, the latest survey was more scientific, according to Pier Simeri, community relations and public affairs director for the city.

The study included 163 replies to surveys that were mailed to a representative sample and 543 responses by residents who answered the survey on the city’s website.

The main thing we want to know is how we are performing,” Simeri said. “We’re always looking for things to do better.”

In one of the highest rankings, the city’s customer service got a 70 percent positive rating.

In other areas related to governance, the survey found a 61 percent positive rating for overall direction, 59 percent for confidence in city government and 52 percent for value of services for taxes paid.

Those numbers all ranked ahead of the 43 percent positive rating for services provided by the federal government.

Montez said survey results are shared with city officials and staff, who use them as they determine goals and prepare the budget.

It’s a useful snapshot,” she said. “Department heads take a really good look at it.”

Simeri said the survey is among several tools that gather feedback. The city also conducts town halls, solicits comments at city events and uses social media to gather information, she said.

Other survey results:

Residents’ overall sense of community was rated as good or excellent by 45 percent, lower than ratings for comparison communities.

As a place to raise children, 67 percent responded positively, which was lower than comparison communities.

As a place to retire, 53 percent rated Avondale positively, similar to comparison communities.

The city’s neighborhoods got a 70 percent positive rating, while the city’s overall appearance got 66 percent, both similar to national benchmarks.

A 51 percent positive rating for overall image was lower in Avondale than elsewhere.

The city’s website was reported as a source of information by 92 percent of those responding. Local media outlets, including newspapers, radio and TV, were used by 78 percent.

 

Glenn Gullickson can be reached at ggullickson@westvalleyview.com.

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