Survey finds residents optimistic about future

Two-thirds of respondents say things going in right direction

Photo by Mike DiFerdinando
According to a recent survey, Douglas County residents are optomistic about the future.
Posted

A recently completed survey has given residents and government officials a snapshot of life in Douglas County.

The survey of registered voters by Hill Research Consultants, released last week by the county, revealed that the majority of residents are content with the direction the county is moving in and are optimistic about the future.

Of those surveyed, 67 percent said they feel things are moving in the right direction for the county, while only 20 percent said they are moving in the wrong direction. Twelve percent were not sure and 1 percent didn’t answer that question.

“As a county commissioner reading this survey, we have a tremendous amount of support from our community and the things that we have been working on,” District 3 Commissioner Jill Repella said. “It’s an affirmation that we’re on the right track.”

When asked if they were “very satisfied” with the county’s parks and trails, 70 percent of people said they were. And 54 percent said they were equally as happy with the law enforcement provided by the sheriff’s office.

The majority of respondents listed economic prosperity as their highest priority in the county.

Fifty-one percent of those polled said that economic conditions are staying the same and 40 percent said things are getting better. Only 7 percent said things were getting worse economically.

When asked if the county is a “good place to raise a family,” 82 percent said that is a “very accurate” statement, while 16 percent said “somewhat accurate.”

Of those surveyed, 80 percent said it is very accurate to say Douglas County is a safe place to live and work, while 19 percent said that is somewhat true.

Forty-nine percent said it is very accurate to say the county has “good schools and educational opportunities for all ages,” and 33 percent said that is a somewhat accurate statement.

A combined 17 percent said that’s a not-very or not-at-all accurate statement.
Respondents listed natural resources as their second highest priority for the county, and 58 percent of people said water was the most important resource for the county.

“That was a new direction for the county and to have that strong of support from our citizens. To move in a direction that we haven’t been involved in before, that’s very encouraging because we have set (water) as a high priority,” Repella said.

Areas of concern for those polled included transportation.

When asked whether the county has a transportation system that is effective and adequate, only 16 percent said it was very accurate and 42 percent said the statement was somewhat accurate.

Of those surveyed, 34 percent said road maintenance was their highest transportation priority, while 27 percent said it was public or mass transit.

“We’ve been investing quite a bit in transportation infrastructure and it was disappointing to see that the numbers there weren’t a little more positive” Repella said.

“We’re going to dig into that. It might be a reflection of the congestion on C-470 that we are working on.”

Repella points out that there have been recent plans and projects to improve the transportation infrastructure, the benefits of which may not be seen until the projects are complete.

“We’ve had a significant commitment in transportation infrastructure,” she said.

The survey of 600 registered voters in the county — 200 from each of the three commissioner districts — was conducted by phone from April 3-7 of this year.
Find complete results of the survey here.