Friday, June 26, 2009 | 2:02 a.m.
To see the report, go to the North Las Vegas Web site.
Most residents of North Las Vegas say they have a good quality of life and enjoy living in the city, despite feeling that it still has an image problem and employment opportunities are scarce.
The results of the National Citizen Survey were published this week on the city’s Web site and revealed residents’ opinions of city services, about their own civic participation and trust in their municipal leaders.
City officials use the results to gauge performance and direct efforts to improve services to residents.
A little more than 1,000 households were chosen at random to receive the survey, and 216 — about 20 percent — were returned.
Half of the respondents rated the overall quality of life in North Las Vegas as “excellent” or “good.” Two-thirds gave their own neighborhoods a favorable ranking. Nearly 75 percent said they would recommend living in North Las Vegas, and 69 percent said they plan to remain in the city for the next five years.
About 40 percent said North Las Vegas was a good place to raise children, and the same percentage said it was a good place to retire.
The city paid $11,000 to the National Research Center Inc. of Boulder, Colo., to conduct the survey. This was the fourth survey since 2004. The company compared this year’s survey to the previous three, to national benchmarks and to western cities with populations of at least 100,000.
On average, residents gave unfavorable ratings to most government services. Of the 30 city services for which comparisons were available, none were above the benchmark comparison, 10 were similar to the benchmark and 20 were below.
Most respondents said job growth lagged behind other cities and just 10 percent said the next six months would have a “somewhat” or “very” positive impact on their household income.
Despite reports from the North Las Vegas Police Department that crime decreased 9 percent last year, most respondents said they don’t feel safe, especially downtown.
About 43 percent said they felt “very” or “somewhat” safe from violent crimes and 31 percent responded the same to questions about property crimes.
The police received a 60 percent approval rating, while the city’s fire department earned an 80 percent approval rating.
The survey also showed:
• About 61 percent of survey participants pay housing costs of more than 30 percent of their monthly household income, which is above the national standard.
• The cleanliness, recycling rate, water and air quality of the city were below national averages, with 40 percent giving the city a favorable rating of its overall environment.
• Residents’ opinions on the city’s parks and recreation facilities are on the rise, with 48 percent giving them a positive rating. That’s up from 33 percent in 2004. Eighty-six percent said they visited a park within the past 12 months.
• About 32 percent said they have access to affordable quality health care in the city, and 37 percent said they gave a favorable rating to the availability of preventive health services.
• A little more than half said the city is headed in the right direction, which is similar to other communities. The services provided by the city are favored more than those offered by the other levels of government.
• Residents were somewhat civically engaged. While 19 percent attended a local public meeting in the previous 12 months, 94 percent had helped a friend or neighbor. About one in six had volunteered their time to some group or activity in the city.
• In general, residents showed moderate distrust of local government. About half gave a favorable rating to the overall direction being taken by the city, which was similar to the benchmark. Those residents who had interacted with a city employee in the previous 12 months gave high marks to those employees. Nearly two-thirds rated their overall impression of employees as “excellent” or “good.”