City Services Satisfaction Survey 2012 City Services Satisfaction Survey - Page 3

BACKGROUND AND OBJECTIVES This is the tenth annual survey among City of Arlington residents to measure satisfaction with city services. The benchmark telephone survey was conducted in December 2000, and subsequent telephone survey waves have occurred in November or December each year, except for the 2006 wave which was conducted in January and February of 2007 and was significantly changed from previous waves. In 2011, the data collection method changed from a telephone survey to an online survey for the first time. Reasons for switching to an Internet method included: 1) Increased Internet usage among citizens, 2) Better access to citizens via online (compared to poor production via telephone), 3) Convenience and ease of online interviewing for respondents to take time in order to give thoughtful answers on key questions (as opposed to somewhat spontaneous answers given the time limit in telephone survey), and 4) Lower cost and faster timing. A potential negative effect of switching methodologies is that comparability with previous waves may be lost to some extent (for the first year). For this reason, year-to-year comparisons should be interpreted with caution. The purpose of the survey is to assess citizens’ current perceptions of city services, to identify areas where the City of Arlington is perceived as doing well and areas where improvement may be needed, and to monitor the effectiveness of the city’s efforts to improve services. Information gathered from this wave of interviewing will also be used in planning and budgeting for 2012. METHODS All interviewing was completed over the Internet via Decision Analyst’s secure web server. A total of 29,974 invitations (including 24,922 from Library and Parks email distribution lists and 5,052 from mailing lists selected from a total list of occupied residences in the city ) were sent to obtain 537 Internet interviews (including 303 from email lists and 234 from mailing lists) among residents within Arlington city limits. The library sample and occupied residences sample were pulled randomly and proportionately to the zip code distribution of Arlington. Respondents were screened to identify Arlington citizens and those who qualified were invited to complete the survey. As extra security, participants had to enter their email addresses or personal passwords before they could enter the survey. Interviews were Decision Analyst, Inc. 3