The results of a public opinion survey indicates that Visalians remain generally happy with city services and find Visalia an enjoyable place to live. The city has conducted the survey sin the 1970’s and is one of the few communities in California to do so.
This year’s results yielded three times as many respondents because of the new on-line option. The survey was conducted in person on April 22 and on-line in April and May.
The majority of the respondents owned their home, lived in Visalia over 10 years and 88% were registered voters.
This year’s survey supported most of the long term trends in Visalia. Most notably, over 90% of respondents consider the quality of life in Visalia to be average or better. The survey also indicated that Visalians feel it is a safe community in which to live.
Police and Fire protection were rated as the highest quality service provided by the city while road maintenance was rated the lowest.
New on this year’s survey was a question about Marijuana Dispensaries: Respondents were asked, “Should the City approve recreational marijuana dispensaries within City Limits?” 44.35% of responds stated Yes; 46.29% of respondents stated No; and 9.36% of respondents stated they had no opinion.
The highest percentage of income levels that oppose dispensaries were those with incomes of $100,000 and over. Mid -range level incomes tended to be in support of dispensaries.
While most of the survey’s results matched years past, one result stood out. At the end of the survey respondents were asked, ‘How could the city better manage your tax dollar?” Road maintenance was top of respondents’ list. But the response of “nothing” came in second, tied with homeless and hiring more police.
Council member Steve Nelsen said that was the first time he had seen Visalians say on the survey that there wasn’t anything else the city could do to improve services.
“So that tells me we are doing pretty good.”