The Citizen Satisfaction Survey Results Are in

Residents give city high marks as a place to live and for services
​​​The results are in and the people who call Virginia Beach home really like the place. The biennial Citizen Satisfaction Survey asks residents how we’re doing as a city. Since 1995, the City has hired a professional firm to conduct a scientifically valid survey of residents. 

In December 2017, the company interviewed 500 randomly selected residents. Participants were asked to rate their satisfaction with more than 30 city services and features. Every area of the city was represented in proper proportion and the margin of error was 4.4 percent. 

What did we learn? Well, most folks think Virginia Beach is a special place. Here’s a sample of your opinions:
    • Virginia Beach is a good place to live — 94.1% agreed
    • For the most part, I can conveniently access city services — 92.1% agreed
    • The houses in my neighborhood are well-maintained – 90.5% agreed
    • Virginia Beach, in general, is a safe place to live — 88.2% agreed
    • My neighborhood is a safe place to live — 86.4% agreed
    • The roads I use are generally too congested — 79.2% agreed
    • Overall, I receive a good value for my city tax dollar — 75.2% agreed
    • I know how to inform the City about the way I feel on important issues — 69.8% agreed
The survey found that nine out of 10 residents are satisfied with the services the city provides and this has been consistent since 2003. For these types of surveys, municipalities across the country typically seek satisfaction levels of 80% or higher. In Virginia Beach, we received very high rankings relative to our peers. Nineteen of 32 questions netted a satisfaction level above 80 percent. In fact, 11 rated at 90 percent or higher:​
    • Fire Department — 98.8%
    • Public libraries — 98.5%
    • Paramedic and rescue squads — 98.1%
    • Recreation centers — 97.1%
    • Overall appearance of city — 96.3%
    • Museums, aquarium and cultural arts — 96.3%
    • Parks — 92.3%
    • Police Department — 91.9%
    • Horticultural and agricultural services — 91.4%
    • Overall satisfaction with city services — 90.8%
    • 911 telephone center — 90.0%

Of note is that at a time when many police departments across the country are coming under intense scrutiny, VBPD has consistently high satisfaction ratings.

Ten items were rated between 80 percent and 90 percent — including the overall appearance of city neighborhoods, Emergency Management efforts to respond to disasters, Virginia Beach is a safe place to live, the City’s 311 system, public beaches, my neighborhood is a safe place to live, the courtesy of city employees, trash collection and recycling, public schools, the City’s drinking water and waste water collection services and efforts to combat gang violence. 

Not everything was great though. When asked what can be done to make this a better place to live, more than a quarter of respondents answered with comments about roads and traffic. The survey showed residents are also concerned about getting communication and opportunities to engage on issues, the environment, services for the homeless and indigent, working with other communities on regional issues and perceptions of safety. 

The City has been conducting the survey for 20 years, and there is one clear trend. Residents love Virginia Beach. Dorothy was right, “There’s no place like home.”

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