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Results of the Resident Survey

Wauwatosa benchmarks against Midwestern and national cities with incredibly positive results
Post Date:11/05/2019 6:30 PM

Wauwatosa recently conducted a resident survey about the level of satisfaction with city services, the value of Wauwatosa as a place to live, and various quality of life indicators. Our results were overwhelming positive with benchmarks against Midwestern and national averages. For example, 97% of residents said Wauwatosa is a great place to live compared to a Midwest average of 76%. A number of city services were ranked 20-40% higher than national averages including:

  • police response time to emergencies
  • condition of city sidewalks
  • quality of walking & biking trails
  • customer service from city employees

Download the full results. You can also watch the presentation to the Committee of the Whole on November 5.

The city selected ETC Institute, one of the nation's leading local government research firms, to conduct a resident survey in Summer 2019. They have conducted scientifically-valid surveys for hundreds of cities and counties nationwide, including one for Wauwatosa in 2016.

Top highlights include:

  1. 97% of residents indicated they were "very satisfied" or "satisfied' with Wauwatosa as a place to live (compared to a Midwest average of 76% satisfaction)
  2. Residents ranked their satisfaction with city services, including fire & EMS services (92%), maintenance of street signs and traffic signals (84%), and residential trash collection services (93%)
  3. Top investment priorities: how well the city if planning & managing redevelopment, overall flow of traffic & congestion management, and condition of major city streets

What's decreased from 2016?

 City Service  Percent Decrease since 2016
 Condition of major city streets  -5%
 Affordability of housing  -6%
 How well city is planning & managing redevelopment  -10%
 Overall maintenance of city streets, sidewalks & infrastructure  -17%

What has improved since 2016?

 City Service  Percent Increase since 2016
 Drainage of water off city streets  14%
 Overall flow of traffic & congestion management  14%
 How quickly city staff respond to your request  12%
 Adequacy of street lighting  11%
 Courteousness of city staff  11%
 Accuracy of information & assistance  11%
 Quality of city’s social media  10%
 Police Department safety education  10%

How Wauwatosa Compares to the Nation

62 of the 65 areas surveyed rated the same or above the United States average. 56 of these areas are significantly higher than the U.S. (more than 5%).

Wauwatosa ranks higher than the U.S. average in a number of categories:

  • Overall quality of services (37% higher) 
  • Overall quality of customer service from city employees (37% higher)
  • Quality of walking & biking trails (29% higher)
  • Condition of city sidewalks (27% higher)
  • Availability of information about city programs & services (26% higher)
  • Overall value that you receive for your taxes & fees (25% higher)
  • Quality of solid waste services (24% higher)
  • As a place to raise children (24% higher)
  • Police response time to emergences (23% higher)
  • As a community moving in the right direction (22% higher)

How Wauwatosa Compares to the Midwest Average

56 of the 65 areas surveyed rated the same or above the Midwest average. 50 of these areas are significantly higher than the Midwest (more than 5%).

Here are some of the categories in which Wauwatosa ranks lower compared to the Midwest average:

  • Enforcement of exterior maintenance of residential property (2% lower)
  • Overall enforcement of city codes & ordinances (3% lower)
  • Bulky items removal services (4% lower)
  • Condition of major city streets (5% lower)
  • Quality of city's social media (7% lower)

Below are some of the areas in which Wauwatosa ranked higher than the Midwest average:

  • Overall quality of services provided by City (35% higher)
  • Overall value for city fees and taxes (21% higher)
  • Availability of information about city programs & services (21% higher)
  • As a place to live (21% higher)
  • As a place to raise children (18% higher)
  • As a community moving in the right direction (14% higher)
  • Effectiveness of communication with public (14% higher)
  • Visibility of police in neighborhoods (14% higher)
  • Quality of library (12% higher) 
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