Tuesday, September 8, 2009

KC gets some satisfaction, but we're also pissed

Posted By on Tue, Sep 8, 2009 at 8:30 AM

Late last week, City Auditor Gary White released his latest Citizen Satisfaction Survey. These documents say a lot about our city, and Mark Funkhouser has said the surveys will be one of the significant ways in which he judges his performance as mayor.

click to enlarge Gary White
  • Gary White

The new survey shows that, compared to how they felt in 2008, Kansas Citians are slightly happier in most areas: the overall quality of police, fire and ambulance services; the overall quality of park-and-rec facilities and programs; overall maintenance of city streets; overall codes enforcement; the quality of service from city employees.

Nonetheless, people are increasingly unhappy about some important things.

When it comes to City Hall's "overall communication with the public," people are 3 percent less satisfied and 6 percent more dissatisfied.

Satisfaction with our city's "overall image" dropped 4 percent. The change in attitude seems to be a severe one: That 4 percent crowd looks like it migrated directly to the "dissatisfied/very dissatisfied" category (the percentage of people who are "neutral" about the city's overall image didn't change).

Dissatisfaction with "the level of public involvement in local decision making" jumped 9 percent.

And there's only one way to interpret the 18 percent spike in dissatisfaction with "overall quality of leadership provided by the city's elected officials," from 38 percent in 2008 to 56 percent now: People are pissed.

Ten percent more people are unhappy with the "overall effectiveness of appointed boards and commissions."

Sixteen percent are more dissatisfied with the "overall effectiveness of the city manager and appointed staff."

Fifteen percent are more dissatisfied with "how ethically the city conducts business."

And, even though this figure hasn't changed much (it's gone up 1 percent), for some reason it jumped out at me this time: A quarter of the city's residents think this is a "below average" or "poor" place to raise children.

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