The results from the City of Naperville’s Survey Report, have been gathered, totaled, certified, and now available in a 143 page report. It comprises almost everything you would want to know about how residents view their fine city. All sorts of bar graphs and pie charts depicting beautiful colors.
For the most part, the report implies things are hunky dory in Joe Naper’s city by the river, and frankly they are pretty good even though 6% of the folks think otherwise. Now 6% isn’t much, however with an election coming up in 61 days on April 4, just a small portion of that 6% can make or break a candidate for city council, especially an incumbent.
This election has four incumbents up for re-election including, Judith Brodhead, Kevin Coyne, John Krummen, and Kevin Gallaher. Incumbents tend to like the status quo, keeping things as they are, which means keeping themselves in office.
This year’s survey results show that the same top issues bothering residents now, are the same top issues annoying residents when the last survey in 2012 was conducted including,
- Flow of traffic and congestion management
- Public transportation services
- Visibility of police in neighborhoods and retail areas
Other areas of displeasure and concern by Naperville residents included:
- Overall value of electric utility rates
- Maintenance of street signs, pavements, and markings
- Overall value for water rates
- Curbside bulk leaf removal service
- Household hazardous waste disposal services
Another area of interest included ‘Perceptions of Safety’. Categories included:
- In your neighborhood during the day
- In your neighborhood at night
- In downtown Naperville before 10pm
- In downtown after 10pm
- In commercial and retail areas
- At train stations
- In city parking garages
- In your children’s school
- Areas of assembly (worship, sporting events, etc)
Even though residents felt safe in each of the above, the area of feeling least safe was downtown Naperville after 10pm, twice as unsafe as city parking garages, and four times as unsafe than in their own neighborhoods at night.
Most interesting observation about the survey was that in a 143 page report, and hundreds of categories, with a thousand or more possible answers, there was not one question about how residents view and feel about city officials including the city council, the mayor, and the city manager.
One could say, that the ultimate survey about their effectiveness comes at election time, which is correct, however the city manager is not an elected position. Also if city officials really wanted a “mid-year” grade on their image by residents, wouldn’t a few questions about themselves be included in the survey? Apparently not.
Which gets us back to ‘status quo’. Politicians like to hear about change, unless change involves them.