What do Larimer County residents think about county services? Every two years the Board of Larimer County Commissioners conducts a scientific survey. The BCC considers the results for budget planning, to benchmark citizens’ opinions, and to identify areas of concern. The most recent survey found:
• 67 percent of Larimer County residents who were randomly recruited chose to participate in the survey. Residents continue to be positive about performance of services and there is high stability in the data over time, the first survey was 2002.
• Attitudes toward the county government and perceptions of Larimer County as a place to work and live can be considered slightly positive to positive. Almost 50 percent of respondents agreed or strongly agreed they have “confidence” in County government and felt the County was “moving in the right direction.” These attitude questions were first asked in 2010 and the responses have been stable without significant change.
• The most important services offered by the county, according to survey participants, continues to be providing landfills, recycling and waste management services; wildfire protection; restaurant inspections; and prosecuting criminal cases.
• The performance of county services continued to be positively rated with the top performing primary services being registering voters and conducting elections, providing landfills, recycling and waste management, collecting property taxes and maintaining official records.
• Looking forward, survey participants site maintaining and repairing roads, promoting jobs, managing growth and traffic while being mindful of environmental impacts and maintaining parks and opens spaces as important.
• Areas for improvement include communicating with citizens, supporting mental health services and establishing and enforcing child support orders. Interestingly, some of these services are the very areas slated in the county’s current Strategic Plan for projects that will garner improvements. Areas performed well yet not as important include The Ranch, 4-H, nontraditional land use programs and workforce services for businesses.
• The Larimer County website, the Virtual Courthouse, is the best way to get information about the county according to respondents of all ages. Other useful sources include friends, neighbors and co-workers, all forms of media and utility bill inserts. There is also interest in a mobile app, e-newsletter and online dialogue tools that allow citizens to communicate with the county.
Larimer County worked with Colorado State University’s Jill Mosteller, a marketing faculty member in the College of Business, on the survey. Mosteller says that residents look at services in terms of personal impact and the more they are impacted by a service, such as the landfill, the more they are aware of the service.
The results of the 2015 Larimer County Citizen Survey are available at http://larimer.org/bocc/survey_results.htm