DADE CITY – When it comes to paving over the city's brick roads, most residents responding to the annual citizen satisfaction survey are just saying no.
They do want to see more paving of dirt roads, job opportunities, enforcement of code violations, and more activities for teens. They also want to see more downtown restaurants open for dinner, and a few expressed dismay with a majority of city commissioners voting to give themselves raises.
The survey, in its third year, went out to 1,000 random households through utility bills early this year. Nearly 200 – or 19 percent – were returned, said City Manager Billy Poe as he presented the survey results at Tuesday's city commission meeting. Students studying public administration at the University of South Florida conduct the survey and compile the results.
Of those responding, about 52 percent said they are satisfied with city government. The police department received the highest marks, with a nearly 77 percent satisfaction ranking. Eighty-four percent believe cleaning up neighborhoods will boost the local housing market and 59.5 percent believe the city needs to improve its stormwater system – but only 29.5 percent are willing to pay a monthly fee to see it happen.
Poe said the survey is useful in giving city staff guidance on how to proceed with certain issues – such as paving brick streets – but commissioners wondered how complete a picture they're getting with such a low response rate. Some suggested conducting the survey online to get more feedback.