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Cary Citizens Give High Marks to Cary Town Government in 2020 Biennial Survey

Post Date:05/11/2020 9:43 AM
  • A scientific survey polled 400 Cary citizens and asked 33 core questions on topics relating to Cary, including safety, appearance, customer service, and quality of life.
  • Many departments experienced increased ratings over 2018, including Parks, Recreation & Cultural Resources Department, which earned the highest marks earned for the department in the history of the survey.
  • While earning high marks in service, citizens identified growth, transportation, affordable housing, and schools as the most important issues facing Cary according to its citizens.

Full Release

Cary, NC – This year, Cary citizens awarded its local government the highest marks in the history of Cary’s Biennial Citizen Satisfaction Survey, with all 30 common service dimensions either improving or remaining unchanged from 2018. The survey provided a group of Cary citizens with the opportunity to rate their government and community on 33 core questions covering topics like safety, appearance, Town employee customer service and quality of life. This scientific poll is used by the Town to inform it on areas where it might make changes to enhance Cary citizens’ quality of life.

“For more than 20 years and by their own accounts, Cary citizens have enjoyed an amazing quality of life from talented people who care about the community they serve, and I am proud to be one among them – both servant and citizen,” said Town Manager Sean R. Stegall. “These survey results were gathered prior to the global pandemic, and our citizens’ support will be more important than ever as we continue to work our way through COVID’s impacts over the next months and years.”

The 2020 survey also revealed that:

  • The Cary Fire Department continues to earn the highest marks for any department examined by the survey (A+)
  • The Cary Police Department improved its ratings over last year, bringing its average up from A- in 2018 to A.
  • Parks, Recreation & Cultural Resources Department received an A rating across every category, the highest marks earned for the department in the history of the survey.
  • 92.1% of citizens believe that the quality of life in Cary has remained the same or improved over the past two years.
  • Nine out of 10 surveyed would recommend Cary as a place to relocate.
  • 99% have a positive perception of safety in Cary, including in public places. This is an increase from 97% in 2018.
  • Approximately 97% agree that it’s important to give back to their community.
  • The most important issues identified by Cary citizens in the survey are growth, transportation, affordable housing, and schools.

This is the twelfth consecutive biennial survey conducted by the Town, with the first being in 1998. This year, a total of 400 Cary citizens were randomly selected for the survey and interviewed by telephone (listed, unlisted, and wireless phone numbers) from January 18 through February 13. Just like Gallop, Nielsen, and other international polling organizations, consultants 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 was called. The margin of error for this survey was +/- 4.89%.

As a follow-up to the survey, the Town plans to conduct focus groups later this year. Comprised of randomly selected participants of the telephone survey, these focus groups will provide an opportunity for the Town to probe specific survey findings in greater detail. As in years past, the Town contracted with BKL Research of Salem, VA to conduct the study (survey and focus group).

Find the full survey report at



Primary Contacts

Susan Moran, Chief Strategy Officer, (919) 460-4951
Sean R. Stegall, Town Manager, (919) 469-4007


2020 Biennial Survey Executive Summary
2020 Biennial Survey Full Report

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