Survey: Aspen residents love their quality of life | AspenTimes.com

Survey: Aspen residents love their quality of life

Aspen Times staff report
Aspen, CO, Colorado

ASPEN – The latest version of the city’s annual survey of voters shows that Aspen residents overwhelmingly love it here.

Ninety-five percent of the 277 respondents ranked their overall quality of life as “excellent” (62 percent) or “good” (33 percent). Eighty-four percent reported that they were “somewhat satisfied” or “satisfied” with the services the city provides, according to the survey conducted by National Research Center in Boulder for the city of Aspen.

“The city takes resident surveys seriously and uses the results to measure department performance,” said assistant city manager Barry Crook in a prepared statement. “We use the surveys to see where change needs to occur in the way we do business.”

Based on such feedback, the city plans to buy software that would help customers apply online for building permits. The current paper-intensive system requires contractors to visit City Hall many times, even on behalf of small projects.

Among the city departments and programs, Geographic Information Systems, Kids First and the Aspen Ice Garden received the highest marks, with more than 95 percent saying they were satisfied with those services.

The 2011 survey was completed in October, but the NRC report and results were released on Tuesday. The city’s statement says the survey has been conducted every year since 1997.

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Overall, 1,200 randomly selected residents were contacted, giving the survey a success rate of 23 percent. On most questions, the margin of error is plus or minus 6 percentage points.

Overall, voters reported moderate levels of trust in city government, the report summary says. The majority believed that the city does a “good” or “excellent” job of informing residents and that the information the city provides is of high quality.

However, only one-third of respondents felt that the city does a “good” or “excellent” job of listening to residents and matching its spending to community priorities.

The survey garnered feedback about the quality and services provided by the Aspen Recreation Center, the Red Brick Recreation Center, parks and ball fields, trail systems and the Wheeler Opera House. Generally, those approval ratings increased from 2010 to 2011, the summary says.

Although respondents were satisfied overall with the quality of those city facilities, “they made it clear that each of these facilities needed to do a better job of communicating with residents about program information and schedules,” the summary says.

Respondents also indicated that they want to see improvements in pedestrian safety, including enhancements to crosswalks and increased safety for cyclists.

To read the survey online, visit the following Web link: http://www.aspenpitkin.com/portals/0/images/city/commrelations/newsletter/2011_cs.pdf.

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