Over the summer, the City’s consultant conducted a survey to get feedback from residents about issues of importance within the City and to better understand how we were performing. A random sample of 451 residents completed the survey between July 26 and August 13, either online or over the phone. The survey was offered in both English and Spanish and the sample group matched the U.S. Census bureau’s demographics for Goleta. The City Council received a presentation of the Community Survey on September 18. Click here to view the staff report and click here to view the presentation.
The overall results were very positive, as indicated by the statistics below. The last Community Satisfaction Survey the City did in 2008 revealed the overall satisfaction rate was 65% and this year, the overall satisfaction rate is 82%.
- Overall, 30% of residents had been in contact with city staff in the year prior to the interview.
- Residents with recent staff contact provided high ratings for city staff across the three dimensions tested, with more than eight-in-ten residents indicating that Goleta staff are accessible (94%), professional (90%), and helpful (87%).
- Overall, 79% of respondents indicated they were satisfied with the City’s efforts to communicate with residents through newsletters, the Internet, local media, and other means. The remaining respondents were either dissatisfied with the City’s efforts in this respect (12%) or unsure of their opinion (9%).
- Close to two-thirds (65%) of residents reported that they had visited the City’s website and/or recalled receiving communications from the City during the 12 months prior to the interview.
- Respondents cited email and electronic newsletters as the most effective method for the City to communicate with them (90% very or somewhat effective), followed by the City’s website (85%), direct mail (79%), text messages (76%), and a smart phone app (75%).
- Even among those who are dissatisfied overall, 2/3rd of those people are still satisfied with the City’s communications.
QUALITY OF LIFE
- For every eight satisfied residents, there is one dissatisfied resident, which is very high compared to most communities, according to the consultant.
- Residents shared generally favorable opinions of Goleta, with the most positive ratings provided for the overall quality of life in the City (87% excellent or good), Goleta as a place to live (86%), and as a place to raise a family (82%). Although still positive, residents provided somewhat softer ratings for Goleta as a place to work (69%) and as a place to retire (65%).
- When asked to identify what they like most about living in the City of Goleta that the City government should preserve in the future, residents were most apt to cite the open space areas/nature preserves (41%), followed by the small town/rural atmosphere (16%), parks/recreation areas (14%), and beaches/ocean (12%). Other specific attributes mentioned by at least 5% of respondents included Goleta’s public safety/low crime rate (6%) and minimal traffic congestion (5%).
- Eighty-two percent (82%) of Goleta residents indicated they were either very (31%) or somewhat (51%) satisfied with the City’s efforts to provide municipal services. Approximately 11% were very or somewhat dissatisfied, whereas 7% were unsure or unwilling to share their opinion.
OLD TOWN GOLETA
- Nearly half (49%) of residents visit Old Town at least once a week, with 14% visiting nearly every day. Three-in-ten residents (31%) visit monthly, 10% frequent Old Town once every few months, 5% visit a few times per year, 4% indicated that they never visit Old Town, and 1% were unsure.
- Going to Old Town to shop, dine, or use services was by far the most common purpose for visiting, mentioned by 82% of respondents, followed distantly by visiting friends and family in Old Town (20%), recreating there (19%), living in Old Town (11%), and working there (10%).
- Approximately nine-in-ten residents (89%) feel there are areas in Old Town that are rundown and need to be upgraded. This was consistent about all the subgroups – including residents of Old Town.
- When asked whether they support or oppose five proposed changes to Old Town, support was strongest for upgrading the appearance of older, outdated buildings while keeping with the ‘Old Town’ feel (89% strongly or somewhat support), followed closely by improving the availability of parking (87%), making it more pedestrian and bike-friendly (84%), and attracting new businesses and retail stores (84%). Although still supported by 61% of Goleta residents, limiting parking in Old Town to a two-hour maximum received somewhat less support. The strongest support for the two-hour parking was from people who are frequent visitors and people who live there.
- When asked to prioritize among nine projects and programs that could receive funding in the future, improving the City’s ability to operate in an environmentally sustainable way (78% high or medium priority), funding programs to reduce homelessness (75%), supporting the development of affordable housing (71%), and making the City more bike and pedestrian-friendly (70%) were assigned the highest priorities.
CIVIC ENGAGEMENT & VOLUNTEERING
- More than a quarter (27%) of residents expressed interest in becoming more involved in the activities and decisions of the City of Goleta by serving on a citizen’s committee or participating in a focus group.
- When asked whether the Mayor should serve a 2-year term or a 4-year term similar to members of the Goleta City Council, 49% favored a 4-year mayoral term and 44% preferred a 2-year term. An additional 8% of respondents were unsure or preferred not to answer.
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