How Do You Think Royal Oak is Doing? City Releases Survey Results

City officials got a look at residents perceptions of local government, parks, city events and more at the Royal Oak strategic planning meeting on Saturday.

How do you think Royal Oak is doing? 

City official wanted to know, too, so they hired Cobalt Community Research – a Lansing-based nonprofit organization – to mail a six-page survey to registered voters asking them to think about and then rate on a scale of 1 to 10 everything from law enforcement to the public school system to local government leaders.

Cobolt sent the survey to 1,500 residents drawn from voter records and received valid responses from 333 residents.

According to the survey, the city's overall American Customer Satisfaction Index (ACSI) score is 70. For comparison, the state's ACSI score is 60, the Midwest's is 61 and the national ACSI score is 62.

City Commissioners approved the survey on Sept. 16 by a 4-2 vote. (David Poulton and Peggy Goodwin were nays. Mayor Jim Ellison was absent.) The cost of the Cobalt survey is estimated at $12,085.  

Here are some of the results of the survey. (High and low scores are highlighted for emphasis):

Services citizens' believe should be prioritized for funding:

  • Police (86 percent of respondents)
  • Road maintenance (67 percent)
  • Fire prevention and suppression (63 percent)
  • Ambulance service (49 percent)
  • Snow removal (46 percent)
  • Parks (44 percent)

Overall satisfaction with city services on a scale of 1 to 10

  • Ambulance 8.9
  • Animal control 6.7
  • Building inspection 6.7
  • Code enforcement 6.5
  • Fire prevention and suppression 8.4
  • Pest control 5.6
  • Police 8.0

Outcome behaviors (high score 100)

  • Recommend as a place to live: 79
  • Remain in community: 74
  • Plan to volunteer: 51
  • Encourage business start to start up: 63
  • Support current government: 58

Community image (high score 100)

  • Overall community image: 79
  • Safe place to live: 81
  • Enjoyable for children: 81
  • Enjoyable for young adults: 87
  • Enjoyable for seniors: 78
  • Enjoyable for everyone else: 82
  • Attractive: 78
  • Great place to live: 81
  • Great place for business: 75
  • Growing responsibility: 72
  • Safe place to bike and walk: 74
  • Safe place to walk at night: 72
  • Perfect community for me: 75

Quality of life components (high score 100)

  • Overall public schools: 68
  • Overall transportation: 63
  • Overall fire and emergency medical services: 85
  • Overall police department: 78
  • Overall property taxes: 70
  • Overall shopping opportunities: 77
  • Overall local government: 67
  • Overall community events: 77
  • Overall economic health: 65
  • Overall diversity: 61
  • Overall parks and recreation: 73
  • Overall library: 80

Local government management (high score 100)

  • Overall local government: 67
  • Leaders are trustworthy: 69
  • Being well-managed: 65
  • Well trained employees: 71
  • Effective communication: 67
  • Spending wisely: 59
  • Open to citizen ideas: 62
  • Having a website that meets your needs: 70

Interaction with city employees/officials (high score 10)

  • Level of knowledge 7.7
  • Level of professionalism 7.7
  • Ease of reaching the right person 7.4

Parks and recreation (high score 100)

  • Overall parks and recreation: 73
  • Facilities and parks meet your needs: 75
  • Facility and park maintenance: 70
  • Quality of programs: 75
  • Variety of programs: 73

Community Events (high score 100)

  • Overall community events: 77
  • Range of events: 78
  • Strong-vibrant art community: 79
  • Quality sporting events: 52
  • Variety of festivals and events: 82

Library (high score 100)

  • Overall library: 80
  • Hours of operation: 74
  • Adequacy of resources: 79
  • Location: 84

To see how Royal Oak's scores compare with state, Midwest and national benchmarks, scroll through the infogr.am above or click here.

Are you surprised by the results? Or did the survey-takers get it right? Tell us in the comments.

Elizabeth January 19, 2014 at 04:05 PM
I have lived in Royal Oak for over 50 years and voted EVERY election........and I didn't get a survey. Not one person I know in Royal Oak received a survey either. I vote Republican and so do all of the people who didn't receive a survey. Getting a voter's list with who's democrat/republican is easy (I have had access several times myself). I don't think this a coincidence since there has been lots of fishy stuff going on with the leaders and their supporters in Royal Oak. Therefore, this survey MEANS NOTHING!
Barb Narb January 20, 2014 at 11:55 AM
"Getting a voter's list with who's democrat/republican is easy (I have had access several times myself)." http://www.mi.gov/sos/0,4670,7-127-29836-88652--F,00.html It looks like Elizabeth just got caught in a lie!
Matt Turner January 20, 2014 at 01:08 PM
I did not get this survey but I did get the park survey.
Joyce Boulan January 20, 2014 at 01:32 PM
I think Elizabeth is a little paranoid. I vote Democratic and so do my friends. I, also, did not receive a survey; nor did anyone I know.
Laura Harrison January 20, 2014 at 04:54 PM
of the 333 responses, I am curious about what the demographics were by age groupings.
Carme January 21, 2014 at 08:20 AM
Barb Narb to say someone was caught in a lie is very nice. Why not ask how she got her information. maybe she has access to information that you don't.
The Duke of Royal Oak January 22, 2014 at 03:25 PM
So more money spent on a survey. How much have city leaders spent on surveys in the past 10, 20 years? It seems as though the city leadership spends a lot of money on surveys.
The Duke of Royal Oak January 22, 2014 at 03:26 PM
333 people are going to make recommendations for the city!! Outrageous! An absolute BOONDOGGLE!!!!!
Elizabeth January 23, 2014 at 03:42 PM
I HAVE had several lists of voters for door to door canvassing. Ask any candidate who has run or anyone who is working on proposals in an election. Do your research. It's been done for years, especially for the presidential elections. If you're not a regular voter, and this list gives this information, then a door to door person won't waste their time in cases!


More »
Got a question? Something on your mind? Talk to your community, directly.
Note Article
Just a short thought to get the word out quickly about anything in your neighborhood.
Share something with your neighbors.What's on your mind?What's on your mind?Make an announcement, speak your mind, or sell somethingPost something