In May of this year, O’Fallon conducted the National Citizen Survey through the National Research Center. This is now the fifth time we have conducted the survey since 2005 to gauge the opinions of our residents on a wide array of services.
Because we have now conducted this survey five times, we are able to make comparisons and discuss trends over time, comparing the 2016 ratings for the City of O’Fallon to its previous survey results in 2005, 2007, 2009, and 2011.
The O’Fallon City Council has always taken a progressive approach to improving the community for all of our residents. While some cities operate with the attitude, “if it isn’t broke, don’t fix it,” not O’Fallon. O’Fallon’s City Council and I have always operated with the approach that O’Fallon is a great place to live, work and play, but how do we make it even better?
This is why trend data is important to us. We are able to not only determine what services are improving or which ones need to improve, but also we are able to draw conclusions to answer the never ending question, “are we better off today than we were five, ten, or twenty years ago?”
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The results of the survey are very positive and show improvement to O’Fallon’s already high ratings.
Overall, ratings for 2016 generally remained stable or increased over time. Of the 84 items for which comparisons were available, 50 items were rated similarly in 2011 and 2016, and 34 showed an increase in ratings.
Ratings increased for a number of aspects within Community Characteristics including traffic flow, overall natural environment, availability of affordable quality housing, recreation opportunities, K-12 education and the overall image of O’Fallon.
Within the pillar of “Governance”, all 2016 ratings were similar to or higher than ratings given in 2011. Items with higher ratings in 2016 than in 2011 included Police services, crime prevention, fire prevention, economic development, land use, planning and zoning, the job the City does at welcoming citizen involvement and the overall direction of O’Fallon.
Most rates of “Participation” remained stable from 2011 to 2016. However, there were a few notable exceptions: in 2016 more residents reported that they recycled at home (probably a result of the City’s curbside recycling contract with Waste Management), used O’Fallon recreation centers, voted in local elections and that they believed the economy would have a positive impact on their income in the next six months.
The results of the survey were very positive. I am very grateful of the strong compassion, work ethic, and leadership shown by our City Council, City employees, and O’Fallon community that made this possible.
If you are interested in reading the entire survey, I encourage you go onto the city’s website.
The strong working relationship between city hall and the residents we serve is yet another example of why O’Fallon is such a great community in which to live.