More than two-thirds of Cabarrus residents maintain a positive opinion of the county, with quality of life satisfaction scores rating higher than the national average across a number of categories, according to the 2022 Community Survey Findings Report.
According to the survey, 79% of respondents were either “very satisfied” or “satisfied” with Cabarrus County as a place to raise children, while 78% said the same for the county as a place to live. Seventy-three percent responded similarly about the overall quality of life.
The survey also revealed that residents want County leadership to focus on affordable housing, employment and services for those ages 50 and older over the next five years.
The report was presented to the Cabarrus County Board of Commissioners during the January 3 Work Session.
The six-page survey is administered every other year by ETC Institute. The results are generated from a variety of questions about life in Cabarrus, along with County department-specific questions about the library system, communications, public safety, active living and parks, perception on schools and public safety and more.
ETC Institute’s Ryan Murray presented the findings along with Cabarrus County Strategy Manager Kasia Thompson.
In November 2022, ETC Institute distributed the survey to a random sample of 2,000 households and received 465 responses. Results include representation from across the entire boundary of the county and closely relate to population density data. The overall results have a margin of error of at least +/-4.5 %, with a 95% level of confidence.
This year’s survey was the first that used a five-point rating system to better align comparisons to national and regional benchmarks. Past versions used a nine-point scale.
During the presentation, Murray displayed a variety of slides with distributions of answers and respondents.
“When we talk about the impression of various programs and services, this is where I think the County really excels compared to the national average, but it also puts you right in line with (other North Carolina counties),” Murray said of responses to satisfaction with specific County programs and services.
Among those responses, Emergency Medical Services and Emergency Management/Fire Marshal’s Office had an 89% “positive” or “very positive” response. Other departments with high satisfaction scores included the Sheriff’s Office (83%), Library services (78%) and Active Living and Parks (68%).
Murray also detailed several ‘top priorities for investment’ revealed by the survey. These are areas where the County and its partners could positively impact a large percentage of households by addressing resident-reported needs, including services for those ages 50 and older, affordable housing (no more than 30% of total income), recreational programs and facilities and high-speed broadband internet.
Nearly 30% of respondents disagreed with a question about whether County Government is transparent. Thirty-two percent were neutral. That’s an opportunity for improvement, Murray said, noting the televised meeting as one means of transparency. The solution may mean working toward educating community members about the variety of information sources, he added.
The survey will serve as a guide for the future, Thompson said.
“Over the next six months, we’ll use these responses to inform our strategic planning process,” she said. “It’s a way to put residents at the table as the Board sets its priorities and discusses resource allocation.
“As these projects move forward, we’ll have a benchmark against which we can measure progress.”
Other survey highlights
Satisfaction with customer service from County employees: Murray noted the high scores in several questions related to customer interactions with the County, including ratings significantly above the national average in these customer service areas:
- Respect and professionalism of the interaction (83% ‘very satisfied’ or ‘satisfied’)
- Accuracy of information and assistance given by County employees (78% ‘very satisfied’ or ‘satisfied’)
- How quickly County staff responded to residents (75% ‘very satisfied’ or ‘satisfied’)
- How well an issue was handled by County employees (73% ‘very satisfied’ or ‘satisfied’)
- Ease of contact (72% ‘very satisfied’ or ‘satisfied’)
Involvement in local government: Seventy-one percent of respondents are aware of their ability to attend or speak at public meetings, while 69% are aware of participation in public hearings. Fifty-three percent follow Cabarrus County Government on social media platforms, and half of all respondents know they have the ability to serve on a citizen committee.
Education: Eighty-nine percent of survey respondents believe school facilities are adequate, while 86% believe school facilities are safe.
See the entire video of the January 3 agenda meeting at youtube.com/cabarruscounty. Visit cabarruscounty.us/community-survey to see the survey findings interactive dashboard, which allows users to review and segment County performance, who responded, mapping, investment priorities and benchmarks.
E-mail firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions or comments about the survey.