In a recent random survey of its citizens, 89% of the respondents rated Gaithersburg as an excellent or good place to live, with 94% saying they would be very or somewhat likely to recommend living in Gaithersburg to someone else. The customer service level of City staff members was also rated very high, with employees receiving excellent or good scores of 89% or higher when it comes to knowledge, responsiveness and courteousness.
"This survey validates what we know anecdotally: Gaithersburg is a quality community with a highly functioning municipal government that offers excellent service to its residents,” said City Manager Angel Jones. “We excel in our delivery of core services, those that add significantly to the quality of life in Gaithersburg, and our commitment to customer service is recognized by those we come in contact with.”
The survey, available in both English and Spanish, was conducted by the National Research Center, Inc. (NRC) in the fall of 2011. Invited to participate were 1,200 randomly selected households. Eighteen percent of the surveys were returned, with the demographics of those respondents mirroring data from the most recent Census. The City conducted similar surveys in 2007 and 2009, and the report shows comparisons to results from those years, as well as comparisons to nearly 500 jurisdictions across the country. Gaithersburg’s ranking for each question as either above, below or similar to the national benchmark is noted in the report.
For the majority of questions, residents rated their satisfaction level higher in 2011 than in 2009. There was improvement in 71% of the survey questions, and Gaithersburg outperformed the national benchmark in 60% of the categories.
The survey reinforced some areas of focus, including perceptions of public safety, civic engagement and participation, and diversity of the City's communication efforts. Elected officials and staff will explore how to address these areas during the upcoming strategic planning and budgeting process.
An online version of the survey was made available to the general public following the mail-in effort. The results from the 394 respondents are contained at the end of the report.
The full survey reports are available below: