2018 Residential Survey Report

As the City of Sterling Heights celebrates its 50th Anniversary in 2018, residents continue to give the community and its public services rave reviews. According to the results of the recently completed 2018 Residential Survey, residents are overwhelmingly satisfied with Sterling Heights as a place to live, its overall image, quality of life, and as a place to raise children. The City's public services and the overall direction of the City received similar high marks from residents responding to the statistically valid survey.

The survey, issued in December 2017, was conducted by ETC Institute of Olathe, Kansas with the goal of gathering resident feedback to help prioritize services, gauge satisfaction level and formulate future policy. Sterling Heights Community Relations Director Bridget Kozlowski and ETC Institute's Senior Project Manager Jason Morado presented the findings to the Sterling Heights City Council on Tuesday, January 23 as part of the City's annual Strategic Planning Meeting.

The six-page survey, sent to a random sampling of residents, covered a wide range of topics; from the overall perception of the City as a place to live and raise a family to satisfaction with public services including police, fire, code enforcement, parks & recreation and the public library. The random sample was completed with a 95% level of confidence with at least +/- 3.7%.

Because ETC Institute is a national leader in municipal surveys, the results of the City's 2018 Residential Survey are able to be "benchmarked" against other municipalities both regionally and nationally. According to ETC Institute, Sterling Heights rated above the national average in 50 of the 52 categories assessed and rated "significantly higher" in 45 of the 52 areas assessed. Sterling Heights rated above the Great Lakes regional average in 48 of 52 areas assessed. Sterling Heights rated significantly higher than the Great Lakes regional averages in 46 of those areas.

Overall, eighty-six percent (86%) of survey respondents indicated they were satisfied with City of Sterling Heights as a place to live, eighty four percent (84%)were satisfied with the overall image of the City and eighty-two percent (82%) were satisfied with the overall quality of life in the City. More than sevety-one percent (71%) of respondents felt the City is headed in the right direction.

Another category of note highlighted in ETC's results was public safety. Ninety-three percent (93%) of respondents felt safe in their neighborhoods during the day. Ninety percent (90%) of respondents were satisfied with fire response time and overall quality of local fire protection. Eighty-eight percent were satisfied with police protection and 87% were satisfied with how quickly EMS responds in an emergency.

Other areas of note include: Eighty-seven percent (87%) of respondents were satisfied with the maintenance of City parks; Seventy-seven percent (77%) of respondents were satisfied with the print collections at the Sterling Heights Public Library; Eighty percent (80%) were satisfied with weekly curbside recycling pickup; and eighty-nine percent (89%) of respondents said City employees were courteous and polite during customer service interactions.

"The survey results confirm my belief that Sterling Heights is a great place to live and that our residents appreciate the quality public services our employees deliver during the day," said Sterling Heights Mayor Michael C. Taylor. "The fact that Sterling Heights ranks so highly when compared to municipalities from across the United States is confirmation that the City's focus on quality public service and placemaking is making a difference with our residents. These survey results will continue to guide our Council's decision making moving forward."

Sterling Heights City Manager Mark Vanderpool said he's extremely pleased with the high marks from the 2018 Residential Survey.

"The high scores represented in the survey are a direct reflection of the outstanding performance from City employees," Vanderpool said. "They deserve the credit.  There are also opportunities to improve in key areas identified by the survey results. Specifically, our challenge is to increase the visibility of police officers in neighborhoods and retail areas further enhance code enforcement in neighborhoods, and continue to emphasize improvements to infrastructure, particularly local and major roads. Our commitment to being innovative has served us well and and will help to improve in these areas of importance to residents."