Lee’s Summit survey on services reports upward trends

rpulley@lsjournal.comFebruary 19, 2014 

Lee’s Summit recently received the results of a survey asking residents to rate its performance on city services.

Survey results in 2013 indicated satisfaction with city services trending upwards, including snow removal.

ETC Institute, an Olathe firm, which surveys more than 100 cities locally and nationally, conducted the survey for Lee’s Summit in 2013, the third it has completed for Lee’s Summit.

ETC compiled the two prior surveys in 2004 and 2008. It included a basic set of questions on fire, police and other departments, repeated from previous surveys and in surrounding cities, so results are comparable.

The city uses it as one indication of how well it’s performing. The City Council is scheduled to discuss the survey at its meeting Feb. 20.

Mayor Randy Rhoads said he glanced at the report, but didn’t study it in depth. He’ll wait for ETC’s presentation this week. He said he’d have scrutinized it closely if it had shown serious problems.

“Overall I think we’re doing pretty decent, we’re not perfect by any stretch of the imagination,” Rhoads said. “But I’m pleased with what I saw.”

ETC wanted to get about 700 responses, randomly collected surveys from all areas of the city by mail and telephone. It received 919 responses and has 95 percent confidence in the survey with margin of error of +/- 3.2 percent.

ETC said Lee’s Summit rates at or above Kansas City metropolitan averages in 52 of 55 areas it compares. The city exceeded the national average by at least 10 percent in 24 categories, including:

• Employees were timely in responses

• How well the city manages growth

• Feeling safe in your neighborhood at night

• Maintenance of city streets and buildings

• Overall value received for city taxes/fees

• Quality of parks/recreation programs

• Number of parks

• Quality of customer service

• Overall quality of police protection

• Quality of fire/ambulance services

The survey rated Lee’s Summit at least 5 percent below the national average in:

• Public transportation

• Quality of the cable channels

• Maintenance of traffic signals/street signs

ETC reported that 90 percent of residents surveyed, who had an opinion, were “very satisfied” or “satisfied with the overall quality of life in the city, 8 percent were neutral and 2 percent were dissatisfied. Asked whether they would recommend Lee’s Summit as a place to live, 90 percent said “very likely” or “likely” compared to 7 percent neutral and 4 percent not likely.

City services with the highest levels of satisfaction were quality of fire and emergency medical services, police services, parks and recreation programs and facilities and city water.

The report said there were notable decreases in several areas:

• City efforts to keep you informed

• Effectiveness of appointed boards and commissions

• Quality of sanitary sewer services

• Efforts to enhance fire prevention

Overall, trends in residents’ satisfaction largely remained the same or increased between 2008 and 2014. Overall for city services, 83 percent were either “very satisfied” or “satisfied,” while 14 % were neutral and 4% dissatisfied (the percentages in the report exceed 100 percent when added.)

Notable increases of satisfaction included:

Visibility of police

Maintenance of streets

Flow of traffic and congestion management

Managing growth

Snow removal on city streets

The full report is available on the city’s website by going to the LSTV tab on its main page, then click on City Council meetings and look for the link to the Feb. 20 agenda.

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