A majority of Mansfield residents have a positive perception of their city and are more highly satisfied with city services than residents in most other cities in Texas and nationwide. Those are the results of a citywide community satisfaction survey presented to the City Council last month.
More than 3,000 surveys were mailed to a random sampling of Mansfield residents in November. The goal was to receive 400 completed surveys for the data to be statistically valid. Mansfield residents completed 632 surveys.
While the majority of residents indicated they were satisfied with city services, residents surveyed said there were several top priorities where improvements could be made. Most of those priorities were regarding city streets and traffic. Traffic flow and congestion management, maintenance of city streets and timing of traffic signals on city streets were three of the top five priorities named by residents surveyed.
Other priorities were visibility of police in neighborhoods and disaster preparedness education.
The survey, produced at the direction of the City Council, will provide direction for the council and staff as they begin setting priorities as part of the FY2022 budget process.
“Community outreach is among the strategic initiatives identified by the council,” said City Manager Joe Smolinski. “The council’s goal is to address resident concerns and plan for the city’s future. With those concerns articulated by residents through the survey, City staff will now begin developing the strategies to address those concerns and present those plans to the City Council in the months ahead.”
Council and staff expressed their thanks to the residents who participated in the survey. “The feedback from the community is important to the work ahead,” Smolinski said. “We are grateful to those who gave us their thoughts and opinions.”
When asked how satisfied they were with Mansfield as a place to live, 90 percent of respondents said they were very satisfied or satisfied with the city. When asked about Mansfield as a place to raise children, 89 percent were very satisfied or satisfied.
Under the survey questioning asking about residents’ satisfaction with City services, 92 percent were very satisfied or satisfied with the quality of police, fire and EMS. When asked about the overall quality of parks and recreation programs and facilities, 88 percent were very satisfied or satisfied.
Mansfield ranked higher in resident’s satisfaction with major categories of city services, compared to several Texas cities with populations ranging from 40,000 to 125,000. Among the cities compared were Cedar Hill, DeSoto, Pflugerville, Round Rock and Sugar Land.
Traffic congestion and management as well as the overall maintenance of city streets were two priorities identified by a majority of residents (selected the items as one of their top three choices).
Areas listed as medium priority in the survey were:
Director of Public Works Bart VanAmburgh said the survey results related to traffic and roads were not a surprise. Traffic management and road construction/maintenance continues to be a priority for council and staff. He cited the quarterly Road Report (published on the City website) as evidence of that commitment.
“The Road Report is published to provide residents with details on projects that are under construction or are in the planning and design process. Funding for many of these projects is already in place.” he said. “That report illustrates the high level at which new construction and routine maintenance are evaluated and planned each year.”
“The city is growing and that growth most definitely impacts traffic and congestion,” Van Amburgh said. “Mansfield is largely a commuter city. It will always be a challenge to address the congestion during rush hour, especially in the afternoon. We have to balance that movement with other traffic in the city.”
Other findings from the survey revealed that 60 percent of respondents use the City website as the primary source of information on issues, services and events, with 54 percent saying word of mouth is their primary source, 51 percent using Nextdoor and 46 percent citing Facebook and Twitter.
The survey also asked respondents on their level of agreement with certain statements regarding Mansfield’s future. Asked whether they agree that the downtown area is important to the overall development of the city, 83 percent of respondents strongly agreed or agreed with the statement.