What do Larimer County residents think about county services?
According to the 2013 Larimer County Citizen Survey, Larimer County citizens remain enthusiastic about the county given the high performance ratings and the response rate of 60 percent for completed surveys.
The survey found that attitudes toward the county government and perceptions of Larimer County as a place to work and live can be considered moderate to good. Respondents had moderate to good “confidence” in county government and felt the county was “moving in the right direction.”
Other survey findings show:
• There is a great deal of stability in the data. That is, for several years residents have reported high levels of importance and high levels of performance. Performance of county services has slightly, although gradually, improved since 2002 when these benchmarks began.
• The most important services offered by the county, according to survey participants, are adequate recycling and landfills. Wildfire protection, restaurant inspections and conducting elections were also seen as very important. The lowest rated services in importance are 4-H, The Ranch and animal control although according to participants all three of these services performed very well. Notably, of the “most important” services offered, most also perform very well. Looking forward, citizens think that environmental health is the most important service for Larimer County to focus on.
• Several social services provided by the county tended to rate lower in both importance and performance. However, younger, lower income, residents who have not lived here long are finding social services to be more important than others find them to be.
• The performance of county services continued to be highly rated. The top performing services are collecting property taxes, conducting voter registration and elections and recording and maintaining official records.
• Regarding communications within the county, citizens continue to utilize electronic sources. In fact the Larimer County website is their most useful source for county information, followed by in-person county meetings and then local newspapers as a close third. Usefulness of social media for county information came in last.
Larimer County worked with Colorado State University’s Dave Gilliland on the scientific survey. Residents from throughout Larimer County were randomly chosen to complete the survey and asked to rate “importance” and “performance” for county services. The Board of Larimer County Commissioners uses the information for budget planning and as a benchmark for Larimer County services.
The survey reports are available online at larimer.org/bocc/2013_citizen_survey.pdf