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The Results Are In: Citizens Continue to Have Great Things to Say About Cary

Post Date:02/25/2004

CARY, NC – The results are in from the Town of Cary ’s biennial citizen survey which gave a group of Cary residents the opportunity to voice their opinions on their government and community. Topics on the 38-item telephone survey ranged from public safety and Town employees’ customer service to quality of life, storm drains, and taxes.  This was the fourth Town-sponsored survey aimed at the broad range of tasks and issues handled each day by the Town.  

“We’re very happy with our continued high ratings and improvements,” said Town Manager Bill Coleman.  “We are constantly exploring ways to work smarter and be more responsive, and it’s great to know that our citizens feel good about Cary , about the services they receive, and about the people who provide those services.”  

Thirteen grades improved in the two years since the last survey, while 15 grades remained unchanged.  Only five grades decreased, with two of these going from “A+” to “A”, two from “A” to “A-“, and one from “B+” to “B”.   

LIVING IN CARY

Cary citizens continue to feel good about their community (means, 1-9 scale)

Year

Overall as a Place to Live

Operation/Management of Cary

How Safe do you Feel?

98

7.61

6.46

7.55

00

7.63

6.95

7.93

02

7.79

7.11

7.99

04

8.31

7.63

8.23

QUALITY OF LIFE IN CARY

The quality of life for Cary residents over the past two years was assessed using a five-point scale, with most respondents (50%) seeing the quality of life in Cary as “the same” over the past two years.  Nearly 42 percent said that their quality of life had improved over the last two years.  That positive slant is reiterated by the means, which increased from 3.18 in 2002 to 3.44 in 2004.  

Year

Mean

Much Worse

1

Somewhat Worse

2

The Same

3

Somewhat Better

4

Much Better

5

% Above 3

00

3.05

1.6

22.8

49.2

22.0

4.4

26.4

02

3.18

1.0

18.6

49.0

23.9

7.5

31.4

04

3.44

0.5

7.9

50.0

30.6

11.0

41.6

 TOWN STAFF

Respondents continue to be satisfied with their interactions with Cary Town Government staff.  In assessing residents’ perception of staff, respondents who had had contact with staff in the last two years were asked to grade staff on specific behaviors on a scale of 1-9 with 9 being an “extremely high” rating (means, 1-9 scale):  

Year

Promptness

Professionalism

Knowledgeable

Courteous

Ability to Resolve Issues

98

7.26/B-

7.32/B-

7.30/B-

7.63/B

6.77/C

00

7.45/B-

7.73/B

7.70/B

7.98/B+

7.12/C+

02

7.32/B-

7.55/B

7.44/B-

7.81/B+

7.06/C+

04

7.79/B+

8.10/A-

7.95/B+

8.33/A-

7.15/C+

TAXES

A majority (64.8%) of respondents continues to feel that Cary ’s tax rate is “about right”. The survey examined the Cary municipal tax rate of .42 per $100 of property valuation as compared to other locales ( Charlotte , Raleigh , Chapel Hill , Greensboro , and Durham ).  A five-point scale was used.  The response categories were “very low”, “somewhat low”, “about right”, “somewhat high”, and “very high”.   

IMPORTANT ISSUES

Growth and infrastructure remain the most important issue in Cary , mentioned over 164 times by the respondents (178 times in 2002, 200 times in 2000).  This was followed by traffic/roads (74 times in 2002, 108 times in 2000).  

Other questions on the survey explored and evaluated information sources and communication between the Town as well as specific questions on the Police, Fire, and Parks, Recreation and Cultural Resources departments. The full survey report is available on the Town’s Web site, www.townofcary.org.  

A total of 410 Cary households were randomly selected for the survey and interviewed by telephone from January 3-19, 2004 .  Just like Gallop, Nielsen, and other national and international pollsters, consultations for the Town utilized scientifically developed sampling techniques and statistical analysis that allow the survey results to be generalized over the entire population even though not everyone in Cary is being called.  The margin of error for the 2004 survey was +/- 5 percent.  

As a follow-up to the survey, the Town plans to conduct several focus groups in March.  These focus groups will provide an opportunity for the Town and selected citizens to discuss specific issues in greater detail.  

Cary contracted with BKL Research of Salem, VA to conduct the study (survey and focus groups) at a cost of $20,000.  Representatives from BKL will make a formal presentation of the survey’s findings at the March 2, 2004 Operations Committee meeting.  

PRIMARY CONTACTS:
Susan Moran, Public Information Officer, (919) 460-4951
Bill Coleman, Town Manager, (919) 469-4002

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