Parker

Survey shows pride in community

But results also show growth concerns, lower ratings for town council

Posted 7/5/17

Parker residents are happy about where they live, but concerns about the performance of the town council and management of the town’s growth are on the rise, according to the town’s 2017 Citizen Survey.

“Overall, the survey results were …

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Parker

Survey shows pride in community

But results also show growth concerns, lower ratings for town council

Posted

Parker residents are happy about where they live, but concerns about the performance of the town council and management of the town’s growth are on the rise, according to the town’s 2017 Citizen Survey.

“Overall, the survey results were positive and there are many things that people love about living in Parker, with overall quality of life, sense of community, location and safety continuing to receive high ratings over time,” acting Town Administrator Michelle Kivela said in an email. “We’ll be evaluating the survey results to see where changes could be made and communicating those efforts back to the community.”

Respondents gave the town high marks for sense of community and hometown feel, with 27 percent rating this as their favorite aspect of living in town. The next highest attribute was location, which 18 percent of residents citied as being their favorite.

Safety in the community was ranked “good” or “excellent” by 89 percent of respondents. The Parker Police Department was rated higher or much higher than comparable cities across the United States and the Front Range. The department received an 81 percent excellent or good rating for overall department performance.

The town’s approach to arts, culture and recreation also received high marks. Eighty-two percent rated the direction the town is taking with arts and cultural programs as excellent or good, while 81 percent said the same about recreational facilities.

The five-page survey, commissioned by the town and conducted with the National Research Council, was randomly sent to 2,918 residents via mail in March. A total of 761 citizens responded, 95 of them online, for a response rate of 26 percent. The last survey was conducted in 2015.

Citizen participation in government was similar to rates in comparable communities in the Front Range and the United States, with 20 percent of residents saying they or a member of their household attended a town council or other public meeting within the year. While 58 percent of respondents said they felt the town council was doing a good or excellent job, that figure is lower than in comparable communities, and down from 72 percent in 2015.

Of those surveyed, 83 percent said the town does a good or excellent job of keeping the public informed of community issues and 80 percent said the town welcomes input. Among respondents, 66 percent said they felt the council listens to their concerns, placing Parker fifth out of six similar Front Range communities. Just over half, 52 percent, said they felt the town was being open and transparent with the public, a 15 percentage-point decline from two years ago.

In an email, Mayor Mike Waid said the lower ratings are due to the lingering result of election-year politics.

“Across all levels of government and throughout the nation, citizens’ view of their government has decreased primarily because of the very negative national political environment that we had last year,” Waid said. “There is always room for improvement, even if the results came back with 98 percent satisfaction.”

Only 32 percent of respondents said the town did a good or excellent job of managing growth and development. Less than half, 41 percent, felt the same about how town staff are planning for the future, and about one-third gave poor evaluations to each of those areas.

“Growth is always an issue to be addressed. Eight years ago, town council was criticized by the citizens for not encouraging growth and now citizens are concerned with too much growth,” Waid said. “Most of our citizens’ growth concerns are based on general booms in the region and state... The balance that council has to play is a delicate one. While some citizens feel that growth has happened too fast, many of the residential and commercial development communities criticize town council for having too strict of development guidelines and standards that are too high.”

The survey’s margin of error is plus or minus 3.6 percentage points. Results were weighted to make gender, age and housing status of respondents reflect a cross-section of the entire town’s population.

The full survey is available at parkeronline.org/80/Citizen-Survey.

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RJ

“Across all levels of government and throughout the nation, citizens’ view of their government has decreased primarily because of the very negative national political environment that we had last year,” Waid said.

YOU'VE GOT TO BE KIDDING ME?!?!?!?!?!?! What a convenient, and frankly, lazy excuse. The issue, which as stated in the survey as a growing concern, is the fact that this town council, with a town attorney, that is sooooooo pro-development, it has absolutely no ability or desire to say NO!!!! Why is that? If the council, at the direction of the town attorney, is simply going to lay down every time a developer bulldozer rolls into town and let itself and the town be run over ------- why is the council there?

This council either needs to try harder and be more creative in the management and development of this town...... or step aside.

Friday, July 7, 2017