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Survey results reveal how residents feeling about Carlsbad

CARLSBAD — Each year the city asks residents to rate its performance in numerous categories.

And for 2016, the results are in with much remaining the same.

However, there was a 5 percent dip in resident satisfaction and confidence in local government. BW Research conducted the survey, with a 3 percent margin of error, and its president, Josh Williams, reported the totals during last week’s city council meeting.

Per the survey, 74 percent of residents (out of a 1,000 surveyed) were confident in city government and its abilities to positively affect their lives. The percentage represents a 10-point decline since 2014.

In addition, those who are very confident dropped 9 percent from 34 to 25 over the same period.

Women between 45-54 had a lower level of confidence, while younger men had the highest, according to the report.

A number of reasons were outlined for the 2016 numbers including the controversial city measure on the 85/15 plan and construction on El Camino Real among other issues.

“Support for city government is always lower than the services provided,” Williams said.

However, 88.4 percent are satisfied (very or somewhat) with the city’s overall provision of services and about50 percent are very satisfied.

An astounding 96.7 percent rated quality of life as excellent or good as those ratings have remained above 95 percent since 2010. The No. 1 way to improve quality of life, according to those surveyed, is to reduce growth, development and traffic.

Limiting growth and development was the top priority of the three coming in at 20.5 percent, while traffic was second with 15.2 percent.

Fire and emergency services came in at 88.2 percent, while police and law enforcement is 87 percent. As for feeling safe, 98 percent said they feel that way when alone in their neighborhood during the day, while 88 percent feel so at night.

Traffic concerns, meanwhile, also dipped as Williams noted the construction by the Toll Brothers for its Robertson Ranch development has taken longer than anticipated.

Regardless, Williams said more current issues or problems typically sway results compared to the same concerns in the past with relatively few complaints.

“There is a correlation between these things and satisfaction in the survey, but I can’t say for sure these are causing the lower satisfaction,” he said. “Last year was also the year of Carlsbad’s special election on the controversial lagoon project, and we had a contentious national election.”


Al Manzano February 26, 2017 at 8:09 am

If Carlsbad wants effective representation on the Council it has to end a system that does favors incumbency. The answer is simple, to go to districting rather than to at large elections. Districting would mean that every candidate would have to win over 50 percent of the vote in the final election and that they would have to engage in meaningful debate on the issues rather than simply relying on the backing of developers and employee groups to win a seat on the council. Carlsbad has been on a growth spree that meant that newcomers often did not know the history or issues that the community has to deal with, things like the cost of pensions over time, the way rates are set for utility fees, the effect of development on traffic patterns, and the problems of village improvement which often has meant conflict of interests for members of the council, enough so that representation becomes at risk. With a city of such size the at large system is tilted to incumbents which is why they never will make a move to change the system, pure self interest at work.
A referendum is the only answer.

Michael February 24, 2017 at 8:57 am

I have lived in north county for 40 years 26 in Carlsbad I can’t wait to move out of Carlsbad the city counsel makes decisions and I think how is this decision benefiting the citizens of Carlsbad or how are the decisions benefiting the city counsel members latest building low income housing a 400 square foot unit will cost $470,000 that’s $1,700.00 per square foot .Nice houses don’t cost near that you can build for $300.00 per foot . Who’s benefiting ?

Don February 23, 2017 at 8:45 pm

I have a guaranteed way to improve the results for next time and also increase the overall quality of life for everyone who lives in Carlsbad:
Mayor Hall resign.
To double the increase:
Packard resign.
To triple the increase:
Mike Schumacher resign
To quadruple the increase:
Blackburn resign

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