By Jessica J. Saggio | June 22, 2011
Oviedo is "on a roll," according to Mayor Dominic Persampiere, and the statistics are here to prove it after citizen survey results were published last week.
According to the results of a citizen survey conducted in a collaborative effort between the city, the National Research Center and the International City Management Association, things have never looked better for residents in Oviedo.
The survey listed several categories to be rated by citizens, including overall community quality, transportation, housing, land use and zoning, economic sustainability, public safety, environmental sustainability, parks and recreation, culture, arts and education, health and wellness, and community inclusiveness. Of these categories, Oviedo citizens ranked their city high in nearly every area.
NCR received 392 completed surveys from residents representing 33 percent of the community. According to city officials in a release, the response rates on these kinds of surveys are usually between 25 percent and 40 percent, and in this case the margin of error was 5 percent, enough to make it an accurate representation. Households were selected at random by a computerized system to participate in the survey.
Oviedo scored well in a lot of areas but saw exceptional results in certain categories, Persampiere said.
The report showed that residents rated the city's public safety in the 90th percentile, including statistics that showed that 90 percent of residents ranked the police services as "excellent or good," and 97 percent of residents ranked the fire services as "excellent or good." These results show that Oviedo is "much above" other cities of the same size also participating in the nationwide survey.
Additionally, 92 percent of residents ranked the quality of life in Oviedo as "excellent or good," alongside 95 percent of participants who said they would recommend the city as a place to live. Eighty-seven percent said the city was cleanly, and 91 percent were happy with recycling programs in the past year.
Parks, recreation and facilities were all in the 80 percent range as well.
"This is all about the employees, and they've done a great job," Persampiere said. "We're very pleased the results are as good as they are, and it's an incredible reflection on the job our staff has been doing, and on the work our council has been doing."
Persampiere also noted that he was pleased with the "public trust" portion of the survey. According to the results, 66 percent of residents were pleased with how their tax money is being spent, 65 percent are happy about the direction the city is going, 61 percent are satisfied with the job of city government officials and 89 percent were happy with the overall image of the city. Persampiere said these figures are indications that decisions made at a city level are up to par with resident expectations. In a national comparison, Oviedo ranked "much above" other cities in all the aforementioned categories.
"If you look at the public trust portion, we are off the charts this year, which tells me we're on the right track," he said. "When folks have faith in their government and elected officials, things tend to run much smoother and you get a lot more done. I was very impressed with the response we had gotten in that department."
However, there were some areas where the city didn't fare as well. Residents were not pleased with shopping opportunities, 23 percent indicated that the city ranked "poor" in the category.
Employment was also an issue, as 37 percent ranked the city as "poor" in regards to employment opportunities. Bus travel was also a concern, with 26 percent ranking it "poor."
However, Persampiere said the economy has had an effect on some of those areas.
Alongside the good news the survey bore, the city was also named for a third year in a row one of the top 100 cities to live by RelocateAmerica, and is in the final running to be in the top 10. RelocateAmerica offers relocating consumers a directory of more than 6,000 community profiles to research and review useful information about the local housing market, the culture of each community, activities and local businesses.
Between the survey and the news concerning RelocateAmerica, all Persampiere had to say was, "Talk about being on a roll."
"It's a great time to be an elected official in the city of Oviedo," he said. " 'Value of services,' we are much above the national and the comparatives. The 'overall direction we're taking,' 'Much above. Much above.' Overall image, 'Much above. Much above.' It's just unreal when you're looking at this."