Residents still rank KCMO high as place to live and work; City introduces dashboard to help residents review survey results
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: June 14, 2018
Kansas City, Missouri, is still an extraordinary place to live and work, despite persistent challenges to improve on some services that could help boost the city’s overall image among its residents.
This assessment is drawn from the city’s most recent citizen satisfaction survey which shows 79 percent of responding residents enjoy living and raising their families here. Another 72 percent say they also enjoy working here.
The KCMO citizen satisfaction survey is designed to objectively gauge resident satisfaction and priorities with the delivery of city services. The scientific survey, which is administered by a third party, is sent annually to a random sampling of approximately 9,000 households. The survey is collected quarterly by mail, phone and online.
Resident satisfaction has increased in several categories of basic services delivery. The courtesy and professionalism of 311 call takers earned a favorable rating from 69 percent of respondents, up 3 percent over last year. Parks and Recreation also found favor in the survey, with programs and activities at community centers checking in at 45 percent, rebounding from a drop two years ago with a 2.5 percent increase.
Residents also are feeling better about the overall quality of trash collection as 72 percent rate those services as favorable. This 2.4 percent increase is remarkable considering that figure had previously dropped by 10 percent. Two specific areas to note about improved trash collection are: a 53 percent favorable rating for bulky-item services, up 2.5 percent from last year; and leaf and brush pick is up to 51 percent favorable, a 5 percent increase from a year ago. Satisfaction with the streetcar also is up 5.7 percent since last year.
KCMO has been surveying residents since in 1989. The survey was revised in 2011 when the City Manager’s Office of Performance Management took over its administration. In OPM’s collaboration with city departments, the survey’s format was reconstructed in order to more effectively turn citizen feedback into operational action. That meant rewriting some survey questions to more precisely reflect the city’s structure, resources and strategic needs.
For example, new Health Department-related questions were introduced this year. These questions were asked to help hone in on social isolation and community involvement in order to keep pace with the expanding national conversations on public health and various social determinants like social equity and economic mobility.
The first round of results from the new questions are:
- Had friends over to your home in the last 12 months?
- 35% At least monthly
- 52% Several times
- 6% Once
- 8% Never
- How would you describe your overall health these days?
- 24% Excellent
- 46% Good
- 17% Average
- 9% Fair
- 4% Poor
- Thinking about your parents when they were your age how would you compare your standard of living to theirs?
- 23% Much Better
- 33% Somewhat better
- 26% About the same
- 12% Somewhat worse
- 5% Much worse
The City is delving deeper into the analytics by introducing the Kansas City Resident Insights dashboard – a unique and dynamic way for residents to visualize and better understand the results of the annual survey. Elected officials, City staff and residents can easily see a question-by-question breakdown, which serves as a starting point to understanding critical areas of the City’s operations.
The dashboard will enable residents and City stakeholders to act more effectively on resident feedback data and improve outcomes by making this data more accessible, more effectively pinpointing the locations of need around Kansas City, and assisting in prioritizing City programs, performance management, and neighborhood problem solving.
The survey results also indicate areas that need improvement, including:
- Overall feelings of safety in the City are 34.6%, down 6.2% from last year
- Only 58.1% of residents feel safe in their neighborhood, down 2.6%
- Overall quality of police services is 60%, down 5%
For more information, please contact Chris Hernandez, City Communications Director, at 816-513-3474.