The vast majority of Bellevue residents believe the city is a great place to live, their tax dollars are being used wisely and the community is moving in the right direction.
Those were among the key findings this year from the city's 13th annual citizens' performance management survey, completed earlier this year by a market research company.
"We are obviously extremely pleased with these survey findings," City Manager Steve Sarkozy said. "It's gratifying to get these high marks, especially during tough economic times, and it suggests to us that we've forged a very close connection between residents and local government."
Major findings of the survey included:
- Ninety-seven percent of residents believe Bellevue is a good to excellent place to live, up from 94 percent from the year before;
- Eighty-six percent believe they are getting value for their tax dollar, about the same percentage as 2009;
- Eighty-nine percent believe their neighborhood is a good to excellent place to live, down 2 percent from 2009;
- Seventy-five percent say they are satisfied with the city's planning for the future, up from 72 percent the previous year; and
- Eighty-six percent believe the city is headed in the right direction, up from 79 percent the previous year.
Sarkozy said that if there was any area identified by residents as a concern, it was traffic and other transportation-related issues posed by the Puget Sound region's expansive growth in recent decades and the emergence of downtown Bellevue as a major urban center.
According to the survey, just over half of residents strongly agree or agree that they can travel in Bellevue in a reasonable and predictable amount of time, and half say the city is doing a good job improving the city's transportation system, he said.
"These numbers are by no means bad, but they indicate to me that the city has been on the right track with the various transportation projects it has either completed in recent years, or is in the midst of planning," Sarkozy said. "We are quite aware that the future high quality of life in our city is contingent on making sure we continue to focus on improved mobility, and we are doing just that."
This year's survey was conducted by New Jersey-based Opinion Research Corp. The company conducted phone interviews and Internet-based surveys with more than 640 residents last winter, asking them questions on a wide range of issues pertaining to the performance of city government.
In recent years, Bellevue has been recognized nationally for its leadership role in using citizen surveys as part of a broader performance measurement program. Data compiled from the program is used to guide day-to-day management and budget decisions, as well as shape broader policy decisions. Fire and police response times and residents' satisfaction with their neighborhoods are some of the types of data compiled, utilized and reviewed regularly by the city.
"Bellevue is recognized nationally as a high-performing city, and I attribute that in large part to our performance measurement program, of which our annual citizens' survey is an important element," Sarkozy said.
"By using the data collected through the survey, we can continue to measure how we are delivering the services that make a city work, and more effectively manage the resources we have for both residents and businesses."
Complete survey results will be available later this spring and published on the city's website.
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