Oklahoma City residents are happy with their local government and getting happier, according to a recent survey.
The city hired ETC Institute, a national survey company, to conduct its annual survey of residents regarding city services. The results released last week showed improvement from last year in all but one of the 57 areas the company assessed, with traffic flow as the only negative area.
The city is above the national average in 27 of the 32 benchmark areas his company surveys, said Chris Tatham, vice president of ETC Institute.
"The city is clearly moving in the right direction, and you are doing that in a turbulent time when most communities around the country are actually seeing decreases in satisfaction levels,” Tatham said.
The company surveyed 1,393 city residents, asking them to rate the city on a scale of 1 to 5 in numerous areas. Tatham said 71 percent of those surveyed gave the city a rating of four or five on the overall quality of services, and only 6 percent gave a one or a two.
"I think it’s kind of an unexplainable increase,” Mayor Mick Cornett said. "In these economic times, you would assume there is going to be more negativity in the community.”
People are most happy with the city’s fire service, with 92 percent giving the fire department a positive rating. Ambulance service, water utilities and police service also got positive ratings of 70 percent or higher.
The survey report show a pocket of support for the city’s planning efforts around the location of the planned relocation of the Interstate 40 Crosstown Expressway. Pat Fennell, executive director of the Latino Community Development Agency, works with many Hispanic residents in the area.
She said the natural reaction to seeing streets and other infrastructure improved in an inner city area would be positive.
"I think there is a lot of enthusiasm in general on core to shore, and there is already some work going on around the highway,” she said. "People know that something is going on.”
Although those surveyed were happy with police service, the city ranked below other cities surveyed on whether residents’ feel safe in their neighborhood at night.