More citizens say they like KC services

satisfaction-surveyOne woman praised the Kansas City police officer who gave her a ticket.

Another waxed poetic over fast service from the same city water department that was once despised almost as much as the U.S. Congress.

Citizens flat like Kansas City more these days, according to a new survey.

Mayor Sly James and City Manager Troy Schulte celebrated it today at a downtown press conference.

City workers stood by them carrying signs with emails of praise from citizens.

Calling it the “big 20,” James noted the increase in citizen satisfaction from 36 percent to 56 percent in four years.

This year’s survey, done from July 2013 to May 2014, showed statistical improvement in 61 categories, no change in 30 areas and declines in seven.

“Satisfaction with Kansas City’s image is at its highest level since the city began its current Citizen Satisfaction Survey in 2005,” James said. “These results show that our employee’s perseverance and hard work are paying off.”

Among highlights:

  • City communications, the 311 call center and the health department got the most significant improvement scores. The usefulness of the city website and 311 each increased 8 percentage points.
  • The satisfaction with city services increase to 56 percent exceeds the national benchmark of 50 percent for cities of 250,000 or more residents.
  • Satisfaction with snow removal on major and residential streets now is above the national benchmark for large cities.
  • Satisfaction with police visibility in neighborhoods improved 4 percentage points.
  • And 86 percent of residents said they will be living in Kansas City five years from now.

Police officer John Whipple told how a woman praised him after he gave her a ticket in a school zone.

That was because he took time to show her her autistic son how the radar gun worked, he said.

James noted that police also been involved in everything from dancing with youth on the streets to playing basketball with them.

He praised Schulte for helping make the overall improvements happen in a tough climate.

“A lot of people never like the way things are but they absolutely hate change,” James said.

Schulte said he and city workers will keep trying to make things better, especially in areas like streets, sidewalks and infrastructure that citizens say need more work.

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