ZEPHYRHILLS – When it comes to satisfying residents, the city's sanitation and fire departments outshine all others.
Results of this year's citizen satisfaction survey gave each department a nearly 97 percent approval rating. The city library was the only other department to top the 90 percent mark. Residents said they are generally pleased with city government, giving the City Council and city manager a combined 60 percent rating – up slightly from last year's 59.5 percent.
Residents were also asked for feedback on the city's recycling program and whether the city should pursue ownership of Hercules Park, a county facility at the north end of town. About 73 percent said they would use city-provided curbside recycling containers; 57 percent agreed to recycle at a dropoff point in the city. Nearly 45 percent of respondents said they want the city to acquire Hercules Park and the accompanying swimming pool, even if it means a cost to the city.
University of South Florida students conduct the survey each year. They sent out 1,200 surveys earlier this year and received 417 back – a nearly 35 percent return rate. The majority of those responding were homeowners over 55 years old. City Council members received the results at Monday's council meeting.
"This is a good tool for us to measure decisions against," said council president Lance Smith.