The following comes from the West Chester Borough's website found by clicking the link: here.
West Chester Borough participated in conducting the National Citizen Survey in late August- early September. The National Citizen Survey is a collaborative effort by the National Research Center (NRC) and the International City County Management Association (ICMA) developed to provide a statistically valid survey of resident opinions about the community and services provided by local government. The results of the survey not only show the scores given by residents about West Chester but are also compared to benchmark scores of hundreds of other communities across the nation that have completed the survey. The results of the survey have now been received and the results for West Chester are very positive. The results while affirming the excellence of West Chester as a community are also useful to define areas where the Borough can work to improve results for the future. The National Citizen Survey for West Chester and the National Citizen Survey Benchmark Report are both available for review in their entirety on the Borough website www.west-chester.com.
This survey went out to the 1200 randomly selected West Chester residences in mid-August and responses were encouraged with multiple mailings into September. The results of the survey show West Chester residents are very pleased with the quality of life in the Borough and the services/amenities provided to residents. West Chester compares very favorably with the hundreds of other communities across the nation that has conducted the survey.
Residents have rated West Chester very high for quality of life measures and those scores are benchmarked much higher than the average results in the other communities. First and foremost residents experience a good quality of life in West Chester and believe the Borough is a good place to live. The overall quality of life in the Borough of West Chester was rated as excellent or good by 91% of the respondents. Community characteristics were assessed and the three receiving the most favorable ratings were opportunities to participate in social events or activities, the overall image of West Chester and the overall quality of business and service establishments. Out of 31 community characteristics compared West Chester had 21 above the national average, 8 similar to the national average and only two below. Not a surprise the two characteristics receiving the lowest rankings were the availability of affordable quality housing and the amount of public parking. While they were ranked lower in comparison to the other communities the actual scores show that only a third or less felt them to be actually rated as poor.
A majority of the respondents rated the overall direction being taken by the Borough of West Chester as good or excellent which is much higher than the benchmark. Of the residents who had interacted with a Borough employee in the previous 12 months most rated the overall impression of employees as excellent or good. Borough services were given high ratings. Of the 28 services for which comparisons were available 11 were above the benchmark, 15 were similar to the benchmark comparison and only 2 were below. Street repair and snow removal were rated below the benchmark but again looking at the actual scores 70% rated street repair as fair to excellent and 80% rated snow removal fair to excellent. It is annually acknowledged that there is a lack of resources to complete all the needed street repaving projects. Respondents gave positive ratings to safety in the Borough of West Chester and 80% rated police services as excellent or good. West Chester residents recycle at a rate higher than the benchmark and 72% rated the cleanliness of West Chester as excellent or good. Trash collection service was rated excellent or good by 83% of the respondents and recreation opportunities were rated much above the benchmark.
For a randomly selected sample the demographics of respondents end up being strikingly similar to the demographics of the Borough as a whole. There is a lot of data in the reports and readers should discern between the actual score results from the West Chester Survey and the benchmarking comparisons. It is possible to have a positive score on a given criteria yet still be rated below the average benchmark. That means that while Borough residents may have scored that particular criteria positively the average score of other communities in the survey is higher. In that example the Borough is doing well according to its resident responders but more than half of the benchmarked communities earned a score that was higher. This would then be an area that the Borough could target for improvement before the next survey is completed to try to hit or exceed the benchmark.
The survey results will be used as a tool to help focus future priorities and to compare future progress. West Chester Borough residents should be very pleased with the results that show the community scoring very high in comparison to the benchmarked communities from across the nation and very positively in the eyes of resident respondents.