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Draft survey results show high level of satisfaction among Tualatin residents

National Citizen Survey indicates Tualatinians' top priorities are mobility, safety.

FILE - Attendees at August's Tualatin Crawfish Festival enjoy the sunshine. Tualatin residents rate the quality of life and sense of community in their city highly, according to the draft results of a National Citizen Survey.Tualatin residents are happy with their community and generally satisfied with the services their city provides, the draft results of a new survey indicate.

A draft community livability report was presented to the Tualatin City Council on Oct. 24, outlining the results of the National Citizen Survey poll of 321 Tualatin residents.

“Overwhelmingly, the takeaway that we took from the survey is that Tualatin residents experience a high quality of life,” said Tanya Williams, assistant to the city manager, making the presentation to the council.

Among the findings

• The overwhelming majority of residents surveyed rated the quality of life in Tualatin as “good” (63 percent) or “excellent” (27 percent). Ten percent rated quality of life as “fair,” while 0 percent rated it as “poor.”

• Tualatin also received high marks as a “good” (52 percent) or “excellent” (41 percent) place to live. Six percent rated it a “fair” place to live, while 0 percent responded that it is a “poor” place to live. Ninety-one percent said they would recommend Tualatin as a place to live.

• Sixty-two percent of respondents rated the overall quality of city services in Tualatin as “good.” Twenty-seven percent rated them as “excellent,” while 10 percent called them “fair” and just 1 percent rated them as “poor.”

• The sense of community in Tualatin was rated as “good” by 48 percent and “fair” by 31 percent. Smaller percentages rated it as “excellent” (16 percent) or “poor” (5 percent).

• Only 4 percent of respondents indicated that they feel the role of Tualatin's Citizen Involvement Organizations — neighborhood groups supported by but independent of the municipal government — is “not at all important” to the overall quality of public involvement in Tualatin. By comparison, largest percentages said the CIOs are “essential” (23 percent), “very important” (46 percent) or “somewhat important” (27 percent) to that end.

• While the City Council declined to pursue a bond measure in this year's election to build a new city hall and expand the Tualatin Public Library, a majority of respondents in the National Citizen Survey poll indicated they either “strongly support” (16 percent) or “somewhat support” (40 percent) a bond measure that would increase residential property taxes by $3 to $5 per month to pay for that project. Twenty-one percent said they would “somewhat oppose” such a measure, while 23 percent said they would “strongly oppose” it.

• Just 47 percent of residents rated public meetings, including City Council meetings, as either a “major source” (13 percent) or “minor source” (34 percent) of information for them about the city of Tualatin and its activities, events and services. The city website was rated as a “major source” by 56 percent and a “minor source” by 30 percent for that information, while local media outlets, including The Times, rated as a “major source” for 50 percent and a “minor source” for 32 percent.

• Out of eight general categories, survey respondents named “mobility” and “safety” as the top two most important issues to them.

• Tualatin rated well on safety, with 91 percent saying they feel “very” or “somewhat” safe overall and 97 percent saying the same of safety in their neighborhoods.

• Mobility received more of a mixed response. Fifty-four percent of respondents, lower than the national benchmark, rated overall ease of travel as “excellent” or “good,” while 16 percent said the same of traffic flow, 40 percent favorably rated travel by car and 46 percent rated travel by public transportation well. Respondents rated walking in Tualatin much more highly, with 76 percent rating ease of walking as “excellent” or “good” and 83 percent — higher than the national benchmark — saying so of the city's paths and walking trails.

• Tualatin generally rated as similar to the national benchmark, established through surveys of residents of other cities, in most categories. Some ratings were higher than the national benchmark, while just a handful — primarily those related to mobility — were lower.

Other details

Williams said the city saw a notable decrease from prior survey results in eight areas, most of them related to mobility, while it saw a significant increase in 21 areas, including several related to the topic of safety.

“Now that we have the results, our next steps are that we'll finalize the report — we don't anticipate any big changes in the numbers ... and then we will be sharing them with our stakeholders,” Williams said.

Tualatin produced a community attitudes report, pulling out highlights of its survey results, in 2013, when it most recently participated in the National Citizen Survey. Williams suggested the city may do something like that again to make the results more digestible for a general audience.

The survey has a margin of error of plus or minus 6 percentage points.

The National Citizen Survey is conducted by the Colorado-based National Research Center Inc. in partnership with the International City/County Management Association.

By Mark Miller
Assistant Editor
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