The City Manager’s office has made it a strategic goal to work in many aspects throughout the City to improve communication, increase effective data-driven decision making, and increase sustainability. As a part of the strategic plan, a direct goal is to conduct a survey every other year to receive feedback from the Citizens of Topeka in regards to their satisfaction levels of City services.
In November of 2018, the City of Topeka contracted with the ETC Institute to administer a citizen’s satisfaction survey to assess the opinions and priorities of Topeka residents. To ensure the community was represented as a whole, a total of 3,000 surveys were mailed out to a random sample of households covering all parts of the city. To get statistically accurate data, ETC set a goal to receive 400 completed surveys. The goal was exceeded with 438 household responses, giving a 4.7% margin of error or a 95% level of confidence rate.
The data collected should be considered along with other factors such as input from City officials and City staff when making budget and policy decisions. The city has also concluded from this survey that there are areas in which the City of Topeka needs to do a better job telling their story and educating the general public.
According to the survey report, the Citizens top three priorities, in order, are:
- Maintenance of City Streets
Maintenance of streets has been a top priority for the City of Topeka for a few years now. The recent assessment done of Topeka’s streets and the approval of continuance for the ½ cent sales tax has given the city a good start to begin to make a dent in the need of improvement for streets. There is a long road ahead (pun intended) but the city acknowledges that better streets are a top priority for the citizens of Topeka.
- Flow of Traffic and Congestion Management
In assessing this as a number 2 priority for the citizens, the city drew the conclusion that this more than likely relates to the abundance of projects going on in the city and the traffic jams that can cause when dealing with road construction and detours. Unfortunately, when the city has the opportunity to make improvements and move forward with projects, it can potentially cause some frustrations with street closures. The city will continue to assess the timing of projects and evaluate the locations to make sure we are being most efficient for the traffic needs for the city. In turn, the city will look at more educational opportunities when it comes to projects and how to relay the time-line of those to the citizens of Topeka.
Proposed CIP 2020 project, Downtown Traffic Signal Coordination, will also address this issue directly.
- Enforcement of City Codes & Ordinances
The city has started to review and develop SOP’s for the property maintenance division. It is our hope that this will help with not only education of enforcement to inspectors universally but also a tool to educate citizens on how to take care of the properties.
As another tool to educate the public and get citizens to take care of their properties, the city has continued the Team Up to Clean Up project that takes a look neighborhood by neighborhood giving neighbors the tools and resources they need to take care of blight, whether that is their home or their neighbors.
The items the city has touched on are only a very small part of what the entire survey provides. The survey will be a great resource not only for staff but for other individuals in the community as well. The feedback we received will be a consistent tool we utilize to identify opportunities to improve on, measure trends over time and compare Topeka’s performance with other communities.
Our mission is to provide exceptional, cost-effective services in partnership with the community, which add value and enhance the quality of life for all. We believe that conducting the survey and utilizing the feedback keeps our promise of this mission as well as the goal to build citizen satisfaction, confidence and trust in service delivery and operations management.
2018 Citizen Satisfaction Survey
- 2018 Citizen Survey Findings Report
- 2018 Citizen Survey GIS Map
- 2018 Citizen Survey Questionnaire
- 2018 Citizen Survey Presentation