Despite belt-tightening for Bellevue departments due to the lingering recession, residents continue to give the city high marks, with 94 percent of residents surveyed this year saying municipal services exceed their expectations.
According to Bellevue's recently compiled 2011 Annual Performance Report, more than 90 percent of residents polled via phone and Internet said their lives exceeded or greatly exceeded expectations. About 80 percent said the city is headed in the right direction and that they are getting their money's worth with taxes paid to the city.
"Results like this never get old," City Manager Steve Sarkozy said. "When you're in the public sector, you don't have the same yardstick as private businesses, which can use sales or profits to indicate how much people value their services. We need to work hard to determine what services our residents think are essential and how well we're providing them.
"The results of our latest performance survey are extremely gratifying to city councilmembers, and to our staff who pride themselves on providing exceptional service," Sarkozy added. "We deeply appreciate this acknowledgement of our efforts."
In February and March this year ORC International, a consultant for Bellevue, surveyed 405 residents, over the phone (including mobile phones) and via the Web. The statistically valid survey is projectable on the entire population with a 4.5 percent margin of error.
The Performance Report is a combination of the results from that survey -- the Performance Measures Survey -- and data measuring the city's departments in key areas, such as fire response time, number of violent crimes per 1,000 residents and unplanned water service interruptions.
While there have been modest variations over the years, residents have consistently expressed satisfaction with city services every year since the first Performance Report was issued in 1999. Residents have expressed similar approval in the Budget Survey Report issued every other year, which addresses residents' budget priorities as well as satisfaction with city services.
City staff use the Performance Report to find out how well services are being provided that matter the most to residents. The report helps staff to adjust services when necessary.
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