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Citizens Give Cary High Marks in 6th Satisfaction Survey

Post Date:03/28/2008

Growth, traffic, water, and schools top list of major issues 

CARY, NC – The results are in and the marks are high in the Town of Cary’s 2008 Biennial Citizen Satisfaction Survey, which gave a group of Cary residents the opportunity to voice their opinions on more than 50 questions about their government and community -- from sense of safety and community appearance to Town employees’ customer service, quality of life, one-stop voting, taxes, and much more.  Since its inception in 1998, the Town of Cary has been using its biennial survey to help provide guidance or where it can make improvements in its service to and services for citizens.

  • Some of this year’s most outstanding results (letter grade equivalent of “A”) included:
  • Overall Town Staff Courtesy, Knowledge, and Professionalism
  • Cary Overall as a Place to Live
  • Satisfaction with Curbside Garbage Collection
  • Cleanliness/Appearance of Parks
  • Parks, Recreation, Cultural Resources Program Quality
  • Parks, Recreation, Cultural Resources Overall Experience
  • How Safe Residents Feel in their Home Neighborhood

“The results of the extraordinary efforts our staff has put into serving our citizens are very evident in this year’s survey report,” said Town Manager Bill Coleman.  “I continue to be very proud of their work and the things we’re accomplishing together to keep Cary the greatest place to live, work, and raise our families.”

As with previous surveys, Biennial 2008 had three parts: (1) questions that are asked from survey to survey to give the Town an opportunity to see trends in its performance; (2) questions that change from survey to survey to give the Town information on current or emerging issues; and (3) demographic questions such as age, sex, race, and education that help ensure that the sample of respondents are a scientifically representative group of the total population of Cary.

The 2008 survey included first-time questions on broad, Town Council focus areas established at this year’s annual Council-Staff retreat; the results that follow will help the Council track citizen satisfaction with its progress in core areas.

Parks and Recreation 87.6%
Environmental Protection  80%
Town Council Effectiveness  77%
Transportation  72.9%
Downtown Revitalization  69.7%
Planning and Development
  • The 2008 survey also revealed that:
  • The biggest concerns of Cary citizens are growth, traffic, water, and schools
  • A majority (68%) of residents feels that Cary ’s tax rate is “about right”
  • A majority (68.8%) supports using Instant-Runoff voting in future Cary elections
  • Only 42.3% of citizens have 3-Day Emergency Kits
  • Ninety-six percent of residents have access to the Internet
  • More than two-thirds (69.8%) have college degrees, with 5.5% of those having a Ph.D., JD, or MD
  • Outside of English, the primary language spoken most in Cary households is Hindi
  • Only 0.5% of households include at least one adult who cannot read English for any reason

A total of 405 Cary households were randomly selected for the survey and interviewed by telephone from February 1-23, 2008 .  Just like Gallop, Nielsen, and other national and international pollsters, 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 is called.  The margin of error for the 2008 survey was +/- 5 percent.

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

Based on a national Request for Proposals process, Cary contracted with BKL Research of Salem, VA to conduct the study (survey and focus groups) at a cost of $26,000.  Representatives from BKL will make a formal presentation of the survey’s findings at the April 7 Cary Town Council meeting.

Find the full survey report in the Research section of the Town’s Web site,

Susan Moran, Public Information Officer, (919) 460-4951
Bill Coleman, Town Manager, (919) 469-4002
April Raphiou, Deputy Public Information Officer (919) 481-5091

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