Third Annual Citizen Survey Indicates Progress in Key Areas

Yakima City Council Candidate Forum Tonight

Results from Phase 1 of the 2014 Yakima Citizen Survey show community members see progress being made by the City to tackle some of Yakima’s most pressing issues.

Two years ago, the Yakima City Council launched its first Yakima Citizen Survey to find out what community members thought about City services and to help identify areas that needed improvement. The results of the 2012 and 2013 Yakima Citizen Surveys led to the redesign of City programs and services to address issues ranging from street repair and employment opportunities to crime prevention and Yakima’s overall image.

Phase 1 of this year’s survey, which involved questionnaires being mailed out to about 3000 randomly-selected households, began in early September and ended in early October. All three surveys have asked nearly identical questions in order to gauge trends over time. Of the 126 comparable questions in the 2013 and 2014 surveys, 107 were rated similarly from year to year, 13 received higher ratings, and six received slightly lower ratings.

One of the most significant improvements in this year’s Phase 1 results compared to last year’s survey results may be in response to the City having invested about $20 million since 2013 to repave almost 120 lane miles of roads. Survey respondents gave the City’s street repair efforts a 19% “excellent/good” rating in 2013. This year, the street repair rating jumped to 46%.

The rating for the overall direction that Yakima is taking has gone up each of the three years the survey has been conducted – from 28% “excellent/good” in 2012 to 31% last year and to 38% in 2014.

After having received a 22% “excellent/good” mark in both of the first two years of the survey, Yakima’s crime prevention rating improved to 28% “excellent/good” this year. The overall feeling of safety rating went from 23% “excellent/good” in 2013 to 29% this year. Survey takers rated the value of services for taxes paid as 31% “excellent/good” in 2013 and 38% in 2014. The rating for employment opportunities in Yakima also saw a boost year over year improving from 19% “excellent/good” in 2013 to 27% in 2014.

Various reports explaining the results of this year’s survey can be found on the City’s website at http://www.yakimawa.gov/media/points-of-interest/2014-yakima-citizen-survey-results/.

The 2014 Yakima Citizen Survey had a 26% response rate compared to 27% last year and 29% in 2012.

In mid October, Phase 2 of the 2014 Yakima Citizen Survey began when the questionnaire was made available through the City website. The online survey, which can be accessed on the City’s website at https://jfe.qualtrics.com/form/SV_55UtmnunI5wtMvb, will remain open until November 15th. Phase 2 results from this year’s survey are expected to be compiled by the end of November or the early part of December.