Clearwater Citizen Survey
2003 Citizen Survey Results Summary
The Public Communications Department conducts a yearly citizen survey
to determine the satisfaction with city services, customer service
and overall direction. Some highlights of the survey are below or
you can view the entire
2003 Citizen Satisfaction Survey.
You can also view the
verbatim answers and raw data (2 MB PDF file).
Clearwater residents' opinions of the quality of living remained
above 90%, statistically the same as 2002. Opinions regarding Clearwater
as a place to make a decent living wage remained at 58%, the same as
2002. Two new questions regarding the importance of redeveloping the
beaches and downtown provided very interesting results. 80% of respondents
felt that downtown redevelopment was important, and 75% felt beach
redevelopment was important. 75% also felt that the development of
a downtown arts district was important.
The most important issues facing Clearwater were cited as budget resources/taxes
(23%) and downtown redevelopment (18.8%), both similar to 2002 results.
One of the most compelling shifts in this area was the declining opinion
that traffic congestion and traffic control were major issues, falling
from 32.8% in 2002 to 16% in 2003. This could be directly related to
the increased focus on traffic calming and enforcement placed over
the last year. The feeling that water resources were an important issue
also fell dramatically, from 24.8% to just 7%, likely a result of recent
rainfall and talk of relaxing water restrictions by SWFWMD. Beach parking
as an issue also fell from 15.5% to 4.8%.
Clearwater residents continued to feel that the city is supportive
of its neighborhoods. Perceptions of support in the areas of code enforcement
and traffic enforcement had significant increases, up 7.1% and 5.1%
respectively. Approximately 4 in 5 residents felt the city was supportive
of neighborhoods with respect to libraries, recreation facilities and
neighborhood parks. Support for stormwater issues remained lowest,
58.4% of residents feel that the city is moving in the right direction,
comparable to 2002 results. 21.8% felt that the city was not moving
in the right direction, also comparable to 2002 levels. The top three
reasons for dissatisfaction with the city’s direction were disagreement
with priorities (24.8%), mismanagement of money (22.9%) and progress
moving to slow (19.3%).
Significantly more respondents felt that the city was adequately balancing
infrastructure with redevelopment, up 15% from 2002 to 57%. This could
be directly linked to the list of projects undertaken or completed
in the last 18 months – Memorial Causeway, North Greenwood Recreation
Center, Main Library, North Greenwood Library, Bright House Networks Field,
new water treatment facility, Sand Key fire station, Northwest Fire
Station etc. The majority (82.9%) of negative respondents felt that
the city focused too much on redevelopment.
For both beach and downtown redevelopment, about on in four felt that
they should be financed with a balance of public and private funding.
About one in three felt that they should be financed through mostly
private finding with public incentives. And about one in five felt
that they should be financed by mostly public funding. There was no
consensus on the source of public funding, with statistically similar
numbers supporting a bond issue/tax increase, bond issue/reduction
of service and bond issue only.
36.2% felt that it was acceptable to cut city services in order to
balance the budget and not raise taxes. 28.8% felt that this was not
acceptable. 32.8% indicated that it depended on what services were
As in 2002, a majority of respondents did not participate in providing
public input in the last year (56.6%). Most participation levels were
similar to 2002, but use of the city’s website as a venue for
public participation dropped from 25.3% to 19.8%. Redesign of the site,
and increasing the amount of interactive, current and topical information
on the site should influence these numbers in the coming year.
About half of the respondents had contacted a city department or facility
in the last year. The vast majority (94.5%) stated they were treated
courteously, up from 88.9% in 2002. One in three who called with a
problem stated that their problem was not resolved quickly. Nine in
ten respondents were satisfied with the level of city services they
receive, statistically the same as 2002. Those who were not satisfied
with their level of services generally felt that there was a lack of
responsiveness on the part of city staff.
91% had visited a city facility in the last year. The top five were
all recreation-related: libraries (71.2%), Coachman Park (63.6%), other
parks (55.8%), recreation centers (49.2%) and the Marina (37%). 75.1%
of mainland residents visited the beach in the last year.
54.6% of respondents felt that the city was providing enough information
regarding major infrastructure and redevelopment activities. Major
non-city sources of information for these activities were the newspaper
(69%), TV news (52.6%) and word-of-mouth (18.4%). Of city information
sources, the new C-News advertisement (20.6%) was the top sources,
followed by C-View (18.8%) and utility bill stuffers (17.4%).
Six in ten respondents had access to the Internet, and nine in ten
indicated they would use at least one of a variety of city services
if offered online. Respondents were most interested in accessing public
records (75.8%), followed by recreation program registration (68.4%),
requests for service (65.3%), accessing public meeting notices/agendas
(65%), signing up for e-mail newsletters (63%) and accessing police
reports and code violations (63%). The lowest level of interest was
shown in streaming video of meetings, at 33.7%.