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2004 Clearwater Communications Survey

2004 Communications Survey Results Summary
November 2004

The Public Communications Department conducts a yearly citizen survey to determine the satisfaction with city services, customer service and overall direction. You can browse the entire 2004 Communications Survey results (746 KB PDF file) online, or view a PowerPoint presentation of the survey results (requires PowerPoint or browser plug-in).


The City of Clearwater retained the firm of PMG Associates, Inc. (PMGA) to conduct a citizen survey in November of 2004 to ascertain the knowledge, awareness and perceptions of the public regarding issues of City communications. This survey was conducted during the month of November 2004 and included a cross-section of the community.


The random sample for this survey was generated using direct mail listings matched with current telephone numbers. All listings were divided proportionately based on population by Postal Carrier Routes (U.S. Post Office delivery zones). This process insured that the sample universe was evenly distributed throughout the City. This original sampling by carrier route generated over 6,000 potential interview subjects. Later, random selection within the carrier routes resulted in the required sample size for this assignment (400).

Respondents were contacted by telephone by the PMGA staff to complete the survey. Telephone calls were made in the late afternoon and early evening during the week and during the day as well as evenings on the weekends in order to obtain a true representative sampling of the population. All respondents were first qualified to insure that they were in fact City residents prior to initiating the survey. The PMGA staff focused on encouraging the respondents to provide their opinion in order to assist the City in ascertaining perceptions regarding the delivery of services.

The survey instrument designed by City staff, with some input from the consultant and consisted of 94 questions. Questions included from demographics, how respondents received city information, "customer oriented" service delivery programs, advertising and recall of that advertising, internet, satellite and cable TV use and belief statements that measured the public's level of agreement with various subjects.

The tabulations and cross-tabulations of the data resulted in preparation of tables defining the attitudes and perceptions of the public regarding the City services. The data was tabulated for each question individually, and where appropriate was cross-tabulated by whether the household had an internet connection or cable TV and demographics.

Survey Results

The questions of this survey centered on several specific areas; the first was whether the citizens felt that the City government was "customer oriented," the second area was, whether the public felt that they were informed about the City events and services, and the last area that the survey included was that the citizens currently receive their information about the City and what information and how they would like to receive that information in the future.

"Customer Oriented" Service

One of the first questions posed by the interviewers was whether the citizens felt that the City was customer oriented. Over 70% of the respondents stated that they agreed that the City was customer oriented. Of those citizens who had called a city department or facility in the past year, 93.5% felt that they were treated courteously. Of those who were calling regarding a problem, (110 citizens), 71% felt that the problem was resolved quickly.

A question that was asked of the respondents regarding their perception of whether the City "values cooperation and dialogue between resident and government," and 67.5% of the citizens agreed with the statement.

Informed About the City

Almost 90% of the citizens said they were very interested in being informed about City events and government, while 69% said they received enough good information to stay informed. When asked about redevelopment and major infrastructure activities, just over 57% stated that they had "enough information."

Receipt of the City's Annual Report Calendar was acknowledged by over 46% of those surveyed. 79% of those who acknowledged receipt of the calendar kept it throughout the year.

How Citizens Currently Receive Information and Would Like to In the Future

More than 80% of those surveyed read the St. Pete Times with almost 54% of those who read the paper stating that they had seen the C-news advertisement in the Times. 93.1% of those who had seen this advertisement had read the city news, either, "sometimes, often or almost always."

The overwhelming majority of respondents subscribe to cable TV (92.2%) and are either very satisfied or satisfied with the provider (94.2%).

Over 40% of those who were asked to identify the Clearwater City Government channel were able to answer Channel 15, while over 45% of them verifying watching either that channel or C-View. The following is a listing of the programs (Channel 15) that the respondents stated that they watched for "more than a couple of minutes at a time":

City Council Meeting 56.4
Blueline CPD (police show) 47.4
C-NEWS (city news show with Host Doug Matthews) 41.7
City Talk (call-in show with Council-members) 30.1
Focal Point (City Manager Show) 26.3
Clearwater Matters (Mayor's Show) 24.4
Special Council Meeting (budget workshop, etc.) 23.1
Works in Progress (Public Works Show) 19.9
Community Development Board 18.6
Downtown Development Board 11.5
Municipal Code Enforcement Board 8.3

As to how people typically receive their information, the following is a listing of the top ten ways that Clearwater citizens receive their information based on the way the question was asked.

RESPONSE Unsolicited Response Solicited Response
Television News 78.0% 89.5%
Daily Newspaper 75.0% 78.2%
Weekly Newspaper 17.5% 28.5%
Word-of-Mouth 17.0%  
Radio 13.0% 28.0%
C-VIEW TV 12.0% 16.8%
C-news Ad in St. Pete Times 10.8% 29.3%
Utility Bill stuffer 7.5% 36.7%
City Website 7.3% 10.4%
Public Meetings 1.8% 2.5%

Internet Access and Preferences:

It was found that 62.7% of the respondents had access to internet service at home with an additional 6.7% having access to the service at another site.

Of the current services that are offered online by the City, the following are the ones that have the highest levels of awareness:

Pay utility bills 73.5%
Search public records 59.6%
Pay parking tickets 50.0%
Sign up for email newsletters 41.5%
Partake in an on-line mini poll 34.2%
Search building permits 34.2%

Of the households who have internet access, the following are the possible new services that they would be interested in:

Register for Recreation Programs 59.6%
Crime data (historical) for my neighborhood 45.4%
Track/access police reports & code violations 36.2%
Access proposed projects/permit applications near my home 35.8%
Building permit submission 34.4%
Watch a previous council meeting or selected portions of meeting 27.7%
Submit requests for service 16.6%

Emergency Activation System

Regarding a possible future alert system for emergency and non-emergency situations, the following were the responses from the public:

75.2% wanted the system for alerting them of emergency information. Of those, 78.4% wanted to be alerted by their home telephone. When asked if they would want to sign up for non-emergency information, that number dropped to 45.8%.

Cross Tabulations

In examining the cross tabulations of the various questions the following was found:

  • Those respondents who lived in zip codes 33761, 33763 and 33767 typically received their news from the daily newspaper in a lower percentage then the other zip codes.

  • Zip Code 33759 had the highest percentage of those who acknowledged reading the daily newspapers and thus the highest usage of the twice-monthly C-News advertisement in the St. Petersburg Times. They had the highest percent of respondents (89.9%) who said they rarely or never watch C-VIEW TV, but the highest percent of people who read the utility bill stuffer.

  • The Utility bill stuffer reading rate was significantly lower for 33767 and 33763 than any other zip codes. Those in the "50-59" and "over 60" had the highest percentage of utility bill stuffer readers, 67.3% and 69.3% respectively.

  • Those over 60 use the city's website at the lowest levels--10% use it "almost always," "often," and "sometimes". Those in Zip Codes 33759 (6.7%) and 33765 (5.7%) are least likely to use the website. Those in 33755 (32.6%) and 33763 ( 28.3%) are most likely to use the website.

  • Radio was used as a source of information at highest rates in the 33755 (66.2%) and 33759 (93.4 %) zip codes.

  • Zip Code 33764 had the highest percent of respondents (50%) who said they watch C-VIEW TV.

  • Attendance at public meetings increased as citizen's age increased.

  • The subscribers to Brighthouse Cable were slightly more satisfied than those subscribers to Knology.