The City of Mercer Island commissioned a study of 400 registered voters in late January, and the results are now posted on the city web site. Some top level findings from the executive summary:
- Island voters continue to be in a positive mood (65% Right Direction), and their relationship with City government remains strong.
- Continuing a trend seen in 2006, transportation, traffic, overcrowding, and overdevelopment top the list of the most important problems. The negative rating for promoting traffic safety increased 12 percentage points in 2008.
- Favorable ratings for the City Council remain solid (58%), and a majority give the City positive
ratings for their responsible use of tax dollars (56%). The City continues to significantly outperform King County on both of these measures.
- Voter priorities have remained constant over the past four years, with ensuring prompt fire/medical aid response times and preventing crime at the top of the list. Protecting the environment, a new item this year, ranks third, just above maintaining streets and promoting traffic safety.
- The City receives strong positive ratings for almost all services tested (at least 62% positive). Only preparing for a natural disaster falls short of a majority positive rating.
- A majority (58%) of voters say they are prepared to go without power or water for a week. Renters feel less prepared than homeowners, voters under 50 feel less prepared than those over 50, and homes with children feel less prepared than those without children.
- An overwhelming percentage (86%) feel safe walking alone in their neighborhood or the town
- While a strong majority of voters are satisfied with the appearance and condition of the town center (71%) a smaller majority are satisfied with the shopping and dining options there (58%).
A few other tidbits I noted:
- While 56% of residents think Mercer Island is using tax money responsibly, only 28% think the same of King County.
- I worry that "only" 86% of people feel safe walking alone (is crime really a concern for the others?) but when I re-read the question again I think the "unsafe" part could include fear of getting hit by a car. Which if you've ever walked Island Crest at night, you'll understand.
And my favorite part of the survey, the last question, asked where people get their information regarding issues. About half say the Mercer Island Reporter, followed a distant second by Seattle Times and "word of mouth". There were a bunch of other choices on there, but a full 6% said "Other". What could that possibly be? Oh wait, maybe they meant "Some stupid idiot's
Richard Sprague's blog"! Ha!