The City Auditor's Office has released its annual Community Survey with many residents expressing concerns about increasing traffic and speeding drivers.
City Auditor Stan Sewell said, "This report presents the results of our 6th annual Community Survey. We asked Chattanoogans about their views on a variety of city services, and over 2100 residents responded from May to July. In addition to reporting on citywide data, we report survey data specific to each of Chattanooga’s nine city council districts.
"Chattanoogans continue to give high ratings to their city and neighborhoods in 2017. Chattanoogans believe the City is a good place to live, work, raise a family and retire. Ratings for all of these key livability factors are up for 2017. In addition, resident’s feelings of safety have increased since last year. However, satisfaction with traffic flow is decreasing from year to year and the ratings on smoothness of streets continue to decline significantly. Also, concerns about speeding vehicles are the highest since we began our surveys. The 2017 survey, like previous surveys, often showed significant differences in opinions based on the district surveyed.
"We have included an addendum with summaries from a general analysis by council district. This addendum contains brief comments that may be of interest at a district level. As mentioned in our report, it is important for readers to recognize many insights may be gained by analyzing the data independently.
"We sent the survey to 10,000 randomly-selected households. For 2017, we made a version of the survey available in Spanish. However, we did not note any increased response from individuals identifying themselves as Hispanic. Twenty-two percent of households receiving the survey responded. We calculated the citywide survey accuracy to be within ± 2.11 percent, while accuracy by city council district ranged from ±5.60to ±7.26 percent.
"In comparing the demographic information provided by survey respondents to 2010 Census data (and 2016 Census Bureau estimates), we found that our survey respondents are older and more educated than the population as a whole, as was noted in previous years. We also found that females are over-represented and minorities are under-represented among those who returned our survey. These demographic differences are similar to previous years. We have noted a positive 5 year trend of residents reporting individual incomes over $75,000 per year (19 percent in 2013 vs. 25 percent in 2017). In addition, 2017 results indicate the highest number of residents with a college degree since we began our survey.
This report provides the public and policy makers with valuable information regarding resident satisfaction with city services. We encourage the Mayor, City Council members, City Department Heads, Regional Planning Agency Managers, and community leaders to study trends and differences in community perceptions as they consider strategies to improve services across the nine city districts.
"We want to thank the over 2,100 Chattanoogans who took the time to complete and return the survey. In addition, we want to thank the Electric Power Board, the City’s mail room staff and the City’s Geographic Information Systems unit for their assistance with this effort.
Stan Sewell, CPA, CGFM, CFE
Click here to read the report.