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The Results Are In: Citizens Give Cary High Marks in 7th Satisfaction Survey

Post Date:03/23/2010

CARY, NC – The marks are high in the Town of Cary’s 2010 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, solid waste/ recycling services, taxes, and much more.  Since its inception in 1998, the Town of Cary has been using this scientific survey to help provide guidance on 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:

  • Success at keeping Cary clean and forever green
  • Cleanliness and appearance of parks and greenways
  • Courteous, fair and competent Police and Fire Departments
  • Response time of the Police and Fire Departments
  • Safety within neighborhoods and in public places
  • Overall quality of Parks, Recreation and Cultural Resources courses, facilities and instructors

“The results of the extraordinary efforts by our staff have given the Town of Cary its highest ranking yet,” said Town Manager Ben Shivar.  “I am very proud of our efforts as we strive to keep Cary the greatest place to live, work, and raise our families.”

As with previous surveys, Biennial 2010 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 2010 survey also included questions on broad, Town Council focus areas established during the 2008 annual Council-Staff retreat; the results that follow will help the Council track citizen satisfaction with its progress in core areas.






Parks and Recreation



Environmental Protection



Town Council Effectiveness






Downtown Revitalization



Planning and Development



The 2010 survey also revealed that:

  • Almost all citizens (95.0%) would recommend Cary as a place to live
  • Almost all citizens (92.4%) believe that the quality of life in Cary has remained the same or improved over the past two years
  • The things Cary citizens like most about their community are its safety, small-town feel, convenience and family-friendly atmosphere
  • The biggest concerns of Cary citizens are growth, schools, infrastructure and attracting new businesses
  • A majority (71.1%) of residents feels that Cary’s tax rate is “about right”
  • More than two-thirds (67.3%) have college degrees, with 6.8% of those having a Ph.D., JD, or MD

A total of 401 Cary households were randomly selected for the survey and interviewed by telephone (listed, unlisted, and cell numbers) from January 23 – February 19, 2010. 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 2010 survey was +/- 5 percent.

As a follow-up to the survey, the Town plans to conduct several focus groups later this spring. 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 $28,665.  Representatives from BKL will make a formal presentation of the findings to the Town Council at their March 23rd meeting.

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


Susan Moran, Public Information Officer, (919) 460-4951
Ben Shivar, Town Manager, (919) 469-4002
Deanna Boone, Deputy Public Information Officer, (919) 462-3908

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