Members of Pearland City Council received the results of a citizen perception survey that was conducted from mid-October through January at their regular meeting Feb. 27, at City Hall.
The survey is the fifth one since 2009 that the City had funded to be given through the National Research Center, Inc. (NRC), a leading research and evaluation firm which focuses on public sector and local governments’ information requirements.
This year’s survey was compared and weighted against findings from the 2015 Citizen Survey in Pearland.
NCR Director of Research Erin Caldwell provided a general overview and key highlights of the survey results at the council meeting.
In the results, it was evident that residents rated the overall quality of life in the city as excellent or good and felt the same way about the city as a place to live. The sense of community in Pearland was rated higher in 2017 than in the 2015 survey.
Safety was the top priority and mobility or ease of travel was the second most important characteristic.
Residents in the survey conveyed the idea that safety was the main focus in the next two years. Ratings for safety were positive and residents also valued safety services such as police services which they rated higher in Pearland than in comparison communities. Ratings for emergency preparedness and fire prevention increased from 2015 to 2017.
Mobility was voted an important area on which Pearland should focus in the future. Some measures were less favorably rated, including the overall ease of travel, the availability of paths and walking trails, ease of walking, ease of travel by bicycle, ease of travel by car, traffic flow and the proportion of residents walking or biking instead of driving, all of which were rated lower than other communities nationwide.
Residents also reported they would consider property tax increases for various projects in Pearland including more funding for road improvements. Ratings for street repair, street cleaning and traffic signal timing increased from 2015 to 2017.
According to Council, citizen perception surveys are a valuable tool in gauging general citizen outlook on community and city quality of life, services, and needs. The board reported that survey results, equivalent to market research as a tried and true business practice, provide ‘eyes and ears’ towards diverse contacts, especially with views that are widely held, but not necessarily expressed in our traditional channels at public meetings and such.
Story by Karolyn Gephart