The 2019 Springfield Citizens Survey is showing an increased level of dissatisfaction among many residents regarding all aspects of living in Springfield.
The survey results of citizen perceptions of the city of Springfield show decreases in almost every surveyed category compared to 2014, with no categories showing more favorable results. (One category, “Springfield as a place to work”, tied 2014 with 59% of respondents saying they were satisfied or very satisfied.)
Drops of eight percent or more were seen in most categories for people responding very satisfied or satisfied when compared to 2014:
- Your neighborhood as a place to live fell from 74% to 65%
- The overall quality of life in Springfield fell from 77% to 62%
- Overall quality of services provided by the city fell from 69% to 61%
- Overall appearance & attractiveness of the city fell 62% to 44%
The largest drop, 17%, is in the category “Springfield as a place to raise children”, falling 75% to 58%.
When it comes to city services, most categories showed declines but overall were less than in the first group of responses.
The quality of fire protection topped the list of services with 83% of respondents saying they were satisfied or very satisfied with the Springfield Fire Department. The effectiveness of the airport was next at 63%, up from 53% in 2014. Overall quality of police protection was third at 61%, down from 67% in 2014.
However, the decline in numbers isn’t necessarily an indication of residents being as dissatisfied in Springfield specifically as much as an overall dissatisfaction with the current state of the nation which is carrying over into their view of the city, according to the firm who produced the survey.
Jason Morado, Director of Community Research with ETC Institute, said the study he conducted for the city showed a similar trend to surveys done nationally showing overall declines in satisfaction since the campaign ahead of the 2016 presidential election.
“All of the decreases are not a surprise because we’ve seen them nationwide,” Morado told reporters. “We’ve seen it regionally and nationally, especially over the past four or five years.”
Morado attributed it to an overall decline in the quality of national discourse.
“Trust in national government and media has gone down and that’s where we began to see the rates really begin to drop,” Morado said. “It started with the [presidential primary] debates and then just continued to go down.”
Morado noted even with the drops, Springfield still outpaces other cities in the region and similar sized cities nationwide.
“Especially in some important areas like overall city services,” Morado said. “Overall the ratings are still really good compared to other communities.”
Springfield City spokeswoman Cora Scott saw a lot of positive things in the report.
“I am pleased to see that in the overall quality of services that the city of Springfield did rank higher than the regional and national average,” Scott said. “I’m very pleased to see that our trust in our law enforcement agency is really strong and that both our police and fire are rated highly.”
Scott echoed Morado’s thoughts regarding the level of national discourse having an impact but believes residents of Springfield are aware of that issue and are already working together on it.
“I think there’s already been a discussion in our community on the levels of civility and how we go about communicating and engaging with one another,” Scott said. “I think the city will always have an emphasis on civic engagement.”
Morado said the report showed citizens of Springfield were very similar to those around the country in citing the maintenance of streets and infrastructure along with the flow of traffic within the city as the items they most want to see improved in the next two years.
View the full report here:Springfield-2019-Citizen-Survey