Mayor's survey of Bay residents finds most happy with city
If you’re a Bay Village resident and have a generally positive view of your quality of life in the city, you’re not alone. While this may not come as a surprise to most, a recent survey by Mayor Debbie Sutherland fortified that claim with statistics.
Sent out to nearly 1,000 subscribers of the mayor’s email newsletter last September, the brief survey posed questions about the city’s government, services and amenities to gauge resident satisfaction and identify areas needing improvement. While the number of respondents represented a healthy portion of survey recipients (roughly 30 percent), it should be noted that it is a small sample of the city as a whole (less than 2 percent). Mayor Sutherland explained during the Jan. 28 city council meeting that it wasn’t intended to be a scientific survey, but she felt confident that the “themes” elicited from the respondents were for the most part representative of the populace.
When asked about the responsiveness of city government to resident requests, the majority of the survey-takers, 87 percent, said the city responds moderately, very or extremely quickly; 13 percent were more negative: slightly or not at all quickly. As to how effective city government is at solving problems, nearly 84 percent of respondents felt the city was moderately, very or extremely effective.
On the question of personal satisfaction with living in Bay Village, a strong majority of nearly 92 percent answered positively, with 59 percent selecting the top choice, “extremely satisfied.”
The section of the survey that likely offered the most insight contained open-ended questions that asked what the respondent liked most and least about Bay Village, and what they would improve. The natural beauty of the city, including the lake and parks, combined for the most-commonly cited quality, followed by the feeling of community and the schools. Areas of frustration seemed to focus on recreation, general government performance, shortage of restaurants/bars and taxes. Safety was among the top items mentioned, showing up in both the positive and negative columns in roughly equal numbers.
While Mayor Sutherland stated that the average residency of respondents was 20 years, she did note that a number of the negative comments in the open-ended questions seemed to come from those who are relatively new to the city. Sutherland pointed to complaints about taxes, city services and Cahoon Park and the swimming pool being closed on Sundays as indicators that the city needs to do a better job of educating new residents about the tax code, regionally shared services and provisions of the Cahoon Will.
The mayor and city council agreed that the survey offered insight into the general perspective of Bay residents and that further examination into specific ways the city can improve would be worthwhile.
To see slides from Mayor Sutherland’s survey presentation, click on Resident Satisfaction Survey in the Bay Village News section of the city’s website, www.cityofbayvillage.com. To sign up for the mayor’s email newsletter, visit www.cityofbayvillage.com/email-signup.