Lake Oswego receives high marks on community survey
The residents of Lake Oswego are much more satisfied with their city than counterparts across the nation — at least according to a community survey conducted by the ETC Institute.
The city of Lake Oswego hired the institute, which facilitates public opinion research in hundreds of communities across the country each year, to survey over 600 randomly selected Lake Oswego residents about life in Lake Oswego. ETC presented the findings at a meeting Tuesday, Jan. 18.
The city last conducted a community survey in 2015, but this latest effort focused more on general attitudes and priorities than specific projects, according to the meeting staff report.
This time, the central finding was that 97% of residents rated the city as either an excellent or a good place to live, and 95% rated it as an excellent or good place to raise a family.
"Those are some of the highest numbers in the country of any place where we conduct these surveys," ETC representative Jason Morado said at the meeting.
Morado added that Lake Oswego ranked higher than other communities across the nation in 35 of 38 categories. Other findings included 71% (compared to 41% nationally) being satisfied with city leadership and services, 65% appreciating the city's communication with the public (compared to 31% nationally), 91% feeling content with fire and police services and 94% expressing satisfaction with parks and recreation services.
"Overall the results are extremely positive. Of course, there's always room for improvement but, for the first time conducting the survey, these are really outstanding results," Morado said.
Survey participants also outlined their highest priorities moving forward. The most popular choices included promoting equity, responding to climate change, and addressing sustainability and public transportation. Other areas of interest mentioned frequently were preserving natural areas and maintaining local streets.
"It's really outstanding and so helpful as we go into (Lake Oswego City Council) goal setting. I see many of the items that residents identified as opportunities are in fact the precise items we are working on," Mayor Joe Buck said at the meeting.
Some of the areas in which residents were least satisfied included the availability of affordable housing and the city's planning for needed housing (25 and 24% satisfaction respectively), the quality of public transportation (37%), the ease of getting a permit (30%) and how well the city is planning for commercial services and jobs (33%).
The survey also asked residents whether they support funding for pedestrian safety facilities through an additional fee or bond, and 58% said they were either very supportive or somewhat supportive.
Overall, councilors were happy to learn that the citizens they represent are generally content with how the town is managed.
"I am entirely impressed but surprised by the high numbers we achieved. I know we do an excellent job (but) just comparing it to national numbers was impressive," Councilor Jackie Manz said.
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