National Community Survey
The National Community Survey is a biennial survey the City has done since 2005. The City has contracted with the National Research Center in Colorado to conduct the survey; previous survey information has been used in developing City Council goals. The National Research Center was again contracted in the latter part of 2019 to conduct the survey for the City. The survey results were compiled, formatted and analyzed in early 2020. COVID-19 restrictions on the City Council’s agenda items delayed the release of the report.
From the NCS Dashboard Summary (PDF):
The National Community Survey™ report is about the “livability” of Pasco. The phrase “livable community” is used here to evoke a place that is not simply habitable, but that is desirable. It is not only where people do live, but where they want to live. Great communities are partnerships of the government, private sector, community-based organizations and residents, all geographically connected. The NCS captures residents’ opinions considering ten central facets of a community:
- Community Design
- Natural Environment
- Parks and Recreation
- Health and Wellness
- Education, Arts and Culture
- Inclusivity & Engagement
Across all questions, ratings in Pasco for 2019 remained generally stable. Of 139 items surveyed, 83 were rated similar to 2017; 13 items showed a decrease in positive rating while 17 items showed an increase in positive rating (Trends Over Time). Notable positive results of the survey include:
- Governance: Positive responses to the overall direction Pasco is tracking up significantly; (56%-2019; 46%-2017) as are results regarding the value of services for taxes paid (50%-2019; 37%-2017).
- Community, Inclusion & Engagement: 81% of respondents plan to remain in Pasco for the next five years and 73% feel positively about raising children in Pasco. Responses indicate a greater sense of community (43%-2019; 34%-2017) and neighborliness remained steady. A question introduced this cycle indicates that respondents feel positively that residents from diverse backgrounds are valued and respected (67%) in Pasco.
- Public Safety: Responses in the areas of police, fire, ambulance, and crime prevention generally remained steady while safety in respondent’s neighborhoods and in Pasco’s downtown/commercial area received slight increases. The overall feeling of safety in Pasco is at its highest since introduction of the question in 2013 (64%-2019; 53%-2017). City Council investments in public safety such as community oriented police training, improved fire rating, additional staffing, outreach and transparency are likely to have positively affected these ratings. Additionally, animal control services positive rating matched its highest rating since 2005 (53%-2019; 47%-2017).
A few negative trends are also of note:
- Transportation: Responses highlighted a focus on mobility and alternative modes of transportation. Respondents were more likely to have carpooled, walked or biked instead of driving, and used public transportation in 2019 compared to 2017. Overall quality of the transportation system saw a significant decrease in 2019 (57%-2019; 77%-2017).
- Arts and Culture: Respondents identified this as an area of high importance. Pasco’s ratings for this facet are lower than other benchmark cities and rated much lower for opportunities to attend events for culture, art, and music. Respondents identified this area as a high priority.
In addition to the standard survey questions, the city included three policy questions designed to gauge the opinion of the community regarding three particular issues:
- Funding Public Art Projects: "Pasco recently formed an Arts and Culture Commission. The Commission will be responsible for finding funding and resources to create several public art projects. To what extend do you support or oppose using public funds to help pay for public art projects?" 79% of respondents either strongly or somewhat support public funding for public art projects.
- Affordable Housing: "The City of Pasco is exploring ways to take action to increase the development/supply of more affordable housing units. To what extent would you support or oppose the City exploring each of the following options?" The option of “Provide incentives for the development of housing that is affordable to more households” was either strongly or somewhat supported by 78% of respondents.
- Interest in Downtown: "How likely, if at all, would each of the following be to bring you to downtown more often?" “More unique dining opportunities” was the most popular option with 85% of respondents either strongly or somewhat supporting this option.
The Community Livability Report (PDF) provides the opinions of a representative sample of 207 residents of the City of Pasco. The margin of error around any reported percentage is 7% for all respondents. The full description of methods used to garner these opinions can be found in the Technical Appendices (PDF).
For more information on the survey, contact the City Manager’s Office at (509) 545-3404.