By Ted AYALA
The results of the City of Glendale’s Citizenship Satisfaction Survey are in and according to a representative of the organization that conducted it, the results are “really good news.”
The results of the survey are going to prove crucial to the city in the coming months as it prepares to move forward with plans to include revenue-raising ballot initiatives in next summer’s special election. The idea has been embraced by most of the council, though Councilmember Zareh Sinanyan has repeatedly expressed his opposition to any initiatives that may result in higher taxes and utility rates for residents and businesses.
“We have to have the courage of our convictions,” said City Manager Scott Ochoa of the survey findings, “and this means testing the marketplace of ideas with this survey.”
“I’m actually excited to give this presentation,” said Douglas M. Johnson, a fellow of the Rose Institute of State and Local Government. The Rose Institute, part of Claremont McKenna College, conducted the survey on behalf of the city.
Satisfaction with city services tilted toward the very highest ratings, reported Johnson, with 37% of residents polled saying they rate the services at an “8”; 18% each gave a “9” and “10” rating to those services – all ratings that express very high satisfaction.
“The general impression is that people are very happy with Glendale,” said Johnson.
Old Town Montrose garnered impressive ratings as well. Of the people polled, 21% gave the area a rating of “10,” while 19% and 24% gave the same area a rating of “9” and “8” respectively.
According to the survey, what people liked best about the city was its general safety. Thirty-one percent of those polled cited it as their favorite aspect of Glendale. Its sense of community and atmosphere followed at 19% and 13%.
The survey also looked over the city’s flaws. An overwhelming 33% reported that Glendale traffic was what they liked least about living in the city. Glendale has earned unwanted notoriety in recent years for its driving culture and traffic. Local government and taxation also logged in with 11% reporting it was what bothered them most about living in the city.
Glendale’s fire and police services rated at the highest for satisfaction, with 37% and 25% respectively stating that they were “very satisfied” with those departments. Libraries also rated very high.
At the lowest rung were Glendale Water & Power and Community Development. The former department had only 14% of respondents saying they were “very satisfied” with the service and 25% stating they were “very dissatisfied;” the latter department only had 8% expressing that they were “very satisfied.”
Douglas noted, though, that the low rating for Community Development needed to be taken with a grain of salt as many respondents may not know the exact nature of what the department does.
The survey also noted that most residents were very satisfied with the direction of policy in the council.
Support was very broad for the potential of assessment districts to help fund parks and libraries. Of those surveyed, 49% said they would be “very likely” to support such measures.
According to Johnson, the city rated very well in comparison to other cities such as Monrovia and Duarte, adding that Glendale’s report was the “most positive one” delivered.
“This validates all the efforts of staff and council trying to make Glendale a premier city,” said Councilmember Ara Najarian. “These are your quality-of-life indicators, not abstract numbers. This is something we should all be proud of.”