Community Survey Results Are In

CitySceneColumbus.com – August 21, 2021

In 1992, the City commissioned a comprehensive community attitude survey, providing residents an opportunity to voice their opinions on myriad local topics and services as well as issues that should be added to planning considerations. The surveys, completed nearly every two years since, have been vital to developing our twice-named Best Hometown (Ohio Magazine) in central Ohio.

Through Saperstein Associates, a third-party research firm, we go to great lengths to ensure the survey is conducted anonymously and fairly using a statistically representative snapshot of our community.

This year, after making just over 14,700 phone calls, the goal of completing a minimum of 500 surveys was reached.

It’s a pleasure to learn the 2021 survey results illustrate a large majority of Grove City residents maintain a strong affinity for their community and appreciate the quality of local services and amenities.

The City’s safety services always return high marks of appreciation. This year’s survey reveals a high percentage of interviewed residents rate the Jackson Township Fire Department and the Division of Police as excellent or good, at 96 percent and 86 percent respectively. This was particularly pleasing to learn following a difficult year that included nationwide health concerns and rising social tensions and protests.

In fact, 92 percent of residents surveyed either agree or strongly agree Grove City Police “treat local residents courteously – with dignity and respect.” This is the highest favorable response ever received from Grove City surveys specifically asking this question and a true demonstration that the Division’s efforts do not go unnoticed.

Also receiving its highest favorable responses ever is the Grove City Parks and Recreation Department, with 89 percent of surveyed residents providing excellent or good ratings. Though profoundly challenged by the pandemic, programs and activities overall earned the appreciation of residents with 90 percent favorable ratings.

It’s important to remember a survey isn’t beneficial if all we gain from it is accolades. In order to learn and grow, we need to ask the tough questions and take a hard look at the areas our community feels need attention.

On the radar is improved access to affordable housing, where the majority of those interviewed identify a need for improvement. Fortunately, this has been a focus of the City for some time and has so far resulted in the opening of at least two new options since the last survey – Arrowleaf Apartments and Lamplighter Senior Village.

The 2021 survey and the previous four ask residents to identify the level of importance the City should place on certain aspects of the community. According to the results, our focus on continued redevelopment of Town Center and increasing community recreation and performing arts facilities is in line with community interests.

The takeaways we gain from the biennial surveys are invaluable to the community, and we are grateful to our residents for time spent on the phone with Saperstein representatives to garner the results.

Mayor Richard L. “Ike” Stage