New survey results are in and 95 percent of respondents say Auburn is an excellent place to live.
The ETC Institute has conducted citizen surveys in Auburn for 15 years and found the city’s 2020 approval rate to be better than it was in 2006.
“There’s several reasons to conduct a survey like this,” said Jason Morado, director of community research with the ETC Institute. “One is to get an objective assessment of how satisfied residents are with major city services. This survey’s also a great way to help determine priorities for the community.”
The ETC Institute received responses from 694 citizens in Auburn. Results showed that 95 percent of citizens rated ‘Auburn as an excellent or good place to live’ and 93 percent said they found Auburn ‘as an excellent or good place to raise children', the survey found.
“These are among the very highest numbers in the nation,” Morado said.
Response also indicated residents are pleased with the services the city provided, and Auburn rated 36 percent above the national average.
“I lot of the biggest increases are related to recycling,” Morado said, comparing the numbers to 2018.
Other improvements were found in communication with the public and traffic flow.
Auburn citizens were also pleased with the quality of police, fire and ambulance services in the city, as well as with Auburn City Schools, the survey found. Over 90 percent of Auburn residents are satisfied by Auburn’s police force.
“I want to commend our public safety, I mean man, what a response from the public,” said council member Brett Smith. “Ninety-two percent approve of what were doing with our Auburn Police Division.”
Councilman Tommy Dawson also thanked City Manager Jim Buston and his staff for the work they’ve done for the city as well.
“Jim and his staff are obviously doing an unbelievable job,” Dawson said. “Very impressed with the overall way the city rates and we couldn’t do it without the fine employees we have and I can’t say enough good things about them.”
Each category rated, including overall quality of life in the city, overall quality of city services, overall image of the city, overall value received for city tax dollars/fees and overall appearance of the city, citizens were more often very satisfied or satisfied than they were neutral or dissatisfied.
The highest category of dissatisfaction was in the overall appearance of the city, but even then only 24 percent were dissatisfied.
One of the major problems citizens had with the city was the flow of traffic and congestion management, Morado said.
Some areas of city government went down in approval ratings, however, such as quality of community centers and the quality of new residential development, the survey found.
Since 2018, ratings have dropped slightly, Morado said, but are still higher than the numbers found in 2006.
“Even for [the traffic flow problem] you have well over 40 percent of respondents who are either very satisfied or satisfied compared to 28 percent who are dissatisfied,” he said.
Residents are overall pleased by the leadership in Auburn, the survey said. Sixty-three percent of citizens were very satisfied or satisfied, but the national average is only 38 percent, Morado said.