More than 400 answer survey on life, services in Mesa County

More than 400 Mesa County residents recently completed the 2013 Citizen Survey — the results of which were presented to commissioners Monday — and while there were areas identified as having room for improvement, the general perception of county services and safety seems to be positive.

Most of the respondents answered positively when asked about Mesa County as a place to live and raise a family, at 93 percent and 91 percent, respectively.

Thirty-five percent did answer negatively about Mesa County as a place to work, answering fair or poor.

But Karen Falk, with Kansas-based survey company ETC Institute, told county commissioners similar feedback was reflected in many surveys she’s seen nationwide.

Of specific county services, the Health Department’s retail food safety efforts, efforts to promote community wellness and medical clinic services all rated among the highest in the county.

County services to protect children from abuse and neglect, and unemployment assistance rated the lowest, with 37 percent and 43 percent of respondents responding negatively.

Other highly rated county services include solid waste services (93 percent positive responses), maintenance of local parks (90 percent positive) and local election services (88 percent positive response).

On the lower end of the scale, maintenance/repair of county roads received a 27 percent fair or poor response rate, code enforcement rated 31 percent fair or poor, and registering vehicles and obtaining license plates earned a 33 percent fair or poor response.

Based on some of the feedback, survey organizers also grouped responses to prioritize areas that residents put high importance on, but with which they had low satisfaction. That yielded a list of areas the county presumably could target for improvement.

That list included: enforcement of local traffic laws, crime prevention efforts, maintenance of major roads, and economic assistance and self-sufficiency programs.

According to Falk, the six-page survey was taken over the phone by 405 county residents earlier this year. Respondents were nearly split equally between men and women, and among all the major age categories. ETC says the margin of error is plus or minus 4.8 percent.

This is the fourth year ETC has administered the citizen survey for Mesa County; however, no trend data was available this year because of a change to the way residents were allowed to categorize their answers.

The county plans to post complete results to http://www.mesa


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