Citizen Survey Results Posted December 18, 2018
As part of the formal review of Chester County's strategic plan, Chester County commissioners recently announced the results of a citizen survey, undertaken as part of the review process for the strategic plan's next five years. Results of the Chester County Quality of Life Survey, conducted by West Chester University's Center for Social and Economic Policy Research during September, are based on a random sample of 1,256 responses, evenly represented from all areas of Chester County. The results provide a comparison to the citizens' surveys undertaken in 2009 and 2013, which helped form the basis of the commissioners' strategic plan goals.
In 2018, residents continue to give Chester County high ratings in terms of it being an excellent or good place to raise a family (94 percent) and nine out of 10 (91 percent) rate it as an excellent or good place to obtain a good education. The survey reported a significant increase in those who found the county an "excellent or good" place to find a good job (moving from 62 percent in 2013 to 79 percent in 2018).
The percentage of residents describing Chester County as a better place to live increased from 25 percent in 2013 to 33 percent in 2018. Open space, scenery, and rural areas continue to be noted by respondents as the best thing about life in Chester County, and this year's survey highlighted "maintenance of water quality" and "providing quality services while maintaining low taxes" as the two most important issues facing Chester County.
For questions about the importance of issues facing Chester County, the top three results stating "most important or one of the most important" were maintaining the quality of water (83 percent), providing quality services while maintaining low taxes (81 percent), and the preservation of open space (77 percent). The issue of growth and land development in the county (55 percent) moved up in importance from the 2013 survey level of 42 percent.
As in the two previous surveys, emergency services and the 911 system remain the most important services available to Chester County residents. Eighty-five percent of survey respondents claimed that emergency services and the 911 system are "very important" (up from 81 percent in 2013), and 77 percent confirmed that they would be very willing or somewhat willing to pay more county taxes for emergency services and the 911 system (up from 71 percent in 2013).
In addition to "quality of life" questions, the citizen survey addresses the performance of county employees. Of all residents surveyed in 2018, 38 percent indicated that they had contact with county employees in the past 12 months. Residents who rated employee responsiveness as "excellent" continued to increase - from 40 percent in 2009 to 48 percent in 2013 to 50 percent in 2018. County employee courteousness was rated as excellent or good by nine out of 10 respondents.
When asked what kind of job the county is doing in specific areas, the 2018 survey noted that 86 percent of respondents believe that the county is doing an excellent or good job at maintaining county parks, followed by ensuring public safety (82 percent) and preventing epidemics or public health hazards (81 percent).
A summary of the Chester County Quality of Life Survey may be viewed on www.chesco.org.
Women Invited To Bible Study December 18, 2018
Faith Bible Chapel, 140 Bernard Ave., Cochranville, invites ladies from all denominations to a 12-week ladies' Bible study. The topic will be "The Parables." The informal discussion group will meet from 9:30 to 11 a.m. on Wednesdays beginning on Jan. 16, 2019.
The church is located off Route 41, a quarter-mile south of Route 10 in Cochranville. For more details, readers may call Faith Bible Chapel at 610-593-6333 and leave a message for Shirley. More information about the church is available at www.fbchapel.org.