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May 14th, 2008
Traffic, new jobs top community concerns

From the city of San Marcos

San Marcos residents are generally satisfied with the services they receive from the city of San Marcos and see protecting the environment, solving traffic problems and keeping San Marcos attractive as top growth issues.

These are some of the findings from the eighth annual Community Outreach Survey conducted by the city of San Marcos and analyzed by Dr. Hassan Tajalli , Associate Professor of Political Science and statistician at Texas State University.

The findings of this survey provide information that local leaders need to improve the management of the city,” Dr. Tajalli said. “Not only do the results help identify service delivery areas that need more attention, but more importantly, these results can be considered an annual progress report of service delivery.”

On January 15, 2008 some 3,279 questionnaires in English and Spanish were sent to randomly selected utility customers. Residents returned 302 surveys by mid-March, a response rate of 9.21 percent.

The survey found the highest level of citizen satisfaction in library programs and services, fire services, garbage pickup, parks facilities and open space and recreational programs.

Services with the lowest level of satisfaction were bicycle lanes and routes, downtown parking, sidewalks and downtown redevelopment.

Most improved services were the drainage utility, traffic control (sings and signals), police services, municipal court and garbage pickup.

Services that showed the steepest decline included downtown redevelopment, municipal airport, and planning and development services, the survey showed.

The most important growth issues for residents were protection of the environment, solving traffic problems, and keeping San Marcos attractive.

The top priorities for citizens included:

  1. Solving traffic problems
  2. Economic growth, business opportunities and jobs
  3. Taxes, fees and charges
  4. Roads, streets, route maintenance, sidewalks, and bike routes
  5. Police and crime prevention

The current survey showed that about 62% of the residents have accessed the city’s web site ( ) The most requested web services are online bill paying and account information, information about city services and departments, events, activities and election information, and making comments and suggestions.

The survey found variations in viewpoints on city services by demographic groups, Texas State University students, homeowners, non-homeowners, age, and income. The study compares the current results with the previous seven community surveys.

The 2007/08 Community Outreach Survey is posted on the city web site at under Quick Links.

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4 thoughts on “Traffic, new jobs top community concerns

  1. I think you’re right but my guess is they were asking about things over which the city has some control. And judging by turnout in the school board election, I’d say not as many people care about the schools as we would hope. (I was called out of town unexpectedly and did not vote myself.)

  2. The city can exert control or influence over a lot of things, if it wants to. My whole career centers around getting productivity and cooperation out of people who have no responsibility to me.

    As for the lack of interest, you may be right. There are many ways to generate interest, too. This survey could have been a step in that direction.

    This is an issue that impacts the entire city. It impacts our economy, our quality of life, our crime rate, etc. I don’t think there is any bad time to raise the issue and get feedback.

  3. Neither of these elections were for my district, so I could not vote. I’m certainly hoping that by the 2009 and 2010 elections, the candidates will have a clearer picture of how we measure up and will have some ambitious goals and plans, rather than stale excuses.

    I am encouraged by the overwhelming victory (albeit still a weak turnout) for David Castillo. Given that Villalpando only won by 24 votes, I’m giving serious consideration to what kind of effort would be required to displace a couple more members if things don’t start to change.

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