Survey Conducted
May 6-8, 2013
220-3657
Project Objectives & Results
 A recently commissioned project of The Lew Edwards
Group--with survey research conducted by FM3
Research--evaluated public perceptions in the City of
Modesto on quality of life issues, financial management,
attitudes toward city services and customer satisfaction
levels, including assessing potential revenue options.
 We are pleased to inform you that your respondents hold
positive views about the quality of life in Modesto and
that viable revenue options exist, should the City need
them.
1
Methodology
 Telephone survey of 400 randomly-selected City of
Modesto residents
•
•
Interviews were conducted via landline and cell phones,
and in English and Spanish
Survey was conducted May 6-8, 2013
 The margin of sampling error is +/-4.9% at the 95%
confidence level
•
•
Margins of error for population subgroups will be higher
Some percentages do not sum to 100% due to rounding
2
Key Findings
 Most feel largely positive about life in Modesto – and Modesto City
government.
 Chief among those concerns are public safety – particularly drugs
and gangs – and the local economy.
 75% feel the City has “great” or “some” need for additional funding,
and most would prefer to see additional funding prioritized for
public safety services and economic programs.
 Should the Council be interested in revenue generation, viable
options exist at this time.
3
4
Close to two-thirds say that the overall quality of
life in Modesto is “Excellent” or “Good”—
something to be proud of.
And how would you rate the overall quality of life in Modesto?
Excellent
Total
Excellent/
Good
58%
65%
6%
Good
Only fair
29%
Poor
6%
Don't know
Total
Only Fair/
Poor
35%
1%
0%
20%
Q2.
40%
60%
80%
5
A plurality of respondents feel the
City is headed in the “right direction…”
Would you say that things in the City of Modesto are generally headed in the right
direction or are they pretty seriously off on the wrong track?
Right
Direction
48%
Wrong
Track
34%
Q1.
Don't
Know
18%
6
…and an overwhelming percentage feel their
neighborhoods are headed in the right direction.
Would you say that things in your neighborhood are generally headed in the right
direction or are they pretty seriously off on the wrong track?
Wrong
Track
24%
Right
Direction
71%
Don't
Know
5%
Q1.
7
8
Of the City/local services evaluated, police and
fire services are viewed most favorably.
Exc.
The Modesto Regional Fire
Authority
21%
The Modesto Police Department
21%
Good
0%
Poor
59%
53%
42%
20%
80%
11%
18% 7% 76%
24%
26%
33%
40%
Total
Total
Exc./ Only Fair/
Good
Poor
DK/NA
9% 10%
55%
Modesto City Water Services 10%
The Modesto Parks, Recreation
7%
and Neighborhoods Department
Only Fair
60%
80%
63%
33%
13% 5% 49%
46%
7%
100%
3. I am going to read you a list of a few community services and organizations that are a part of Modesto’s City government. Please
tell me if you think they are doing an excellent, good, only fair or poor job.
9
Service Ratings (continued)
Exc.
The Modesto Public Works
Department
Good
42%
6%
Modesto City Government
overall
Only Fair
40%
The Modesto Community &
Economic Development
23%
0%
20%
Poor
Total
Total
Exc./ Only Fair/
Good
Poor
37%
10% 48%
42%
44%
8%
44%
52%
26%
50%
34%
40%
DK/NA
16%
60%
24%
80%
100%
3. I am going to read you a list of a few community services and organizations that are a part of Modesto’s City government. Please
tell me if you think they are doing an excellent, good, only fair or poor job.
10
One-third of respondents have had contact with
a Modesto City employee in the past two years.
Have you had any direct contact, either in person or by
telephone, with an employee or employees of a Modesto City
government department over the past two years?
Yes
33%
DK/NA
1%
Q10.
No
66%
11
Of those who have had contact with a
City employee recently, a sizeable majority
are satisfied with the experience.
Very Sat.
Smwt. Sat.
Courtesy shown to you
Smwt. Dissat.
Very Dissat.
64%
Overall customer service
provided
19%
49%
Timeliness of the response
23%
24%
47%
0%
20%
Total
Sat.
Total
Dissat.
85%
15%
12% 16%
72%
28%
8%
72%
26%
70%
25%
20%
52%
Competence displayed in
handling your issue
Neither/DK/No Opin.
40%
60%
6% 9%
19%
10% 15%
80%
5%
100%
11. Were you satisfied or dissatisfied with the ___________ by the Modesto city employee or employees with whom you had
contact?
12
13
Drug, gangs and the economy are seen as the
most pressing issues facing Modesto.
Ext. Ser.
Very Ser.
Smwt. Ser.
Not Too Ser.
DK/NA
Total
Total
Ext./Very Smwt./Not
Serious Too Serious
Drugs and narcotics
48%
39%
10%
86%
12%
Gang and youth violence
48%
34%
13%
82%
15%
15%
80%
18%
76%
23%
73%
25%
70%
29%
Jobs and the local economy
43%
Auto thefts
38%
Unemployment
37%
Crime overall
37%
37%
35%
29%
0%
20%
41%
40%
20%
23%
23%
60%
80%
6%
100%
7. I'd like to read you some problems facing the City of Modesto that other people have mentioned. Please tell me whether you
think it is an extremely serious problem, a very serious problem, a somewhat serious problem, or not too serious a problem in
Modesto. Split Sample
14
Two-thirds are very worried about home
burglaries and police service cuts.
Ext. Ser.
Very Ser.
Smwt. Ser.
Total
Total
DK/NA Ext./Very Smwt./Not
Serious Too Serious
Not Too Ser.
Home burglaries
32%
37%
25%
69%
28%
Cuts to police protection services
32%
35%
18% 11%
68%
28%
57%
43%
56%
43%
13% 5% 53%
42%
48%
48%
Deteriorating streets and potholes
26%
30%
Graffiti
29%
26%
Abandoned and foreclosed homes
22%
Cuts to fire protection services
23%
0%
32%
20%
25%
40%
35%
8%
30%
29%
32%
60%
12%
15%
80%
5%
100%
7. I'd like to read you some problems facing the City of Modesto that other people have mentioned. Please tell me whether you
think it is an extremely serious problem, a very serious problem, a somewhat serious problem, or not too serious a problem in
Modesto. Split Sample
15
Tree trimming, traffic congestion and water
quality are not seen as top concerns.
Ext. Ser.
Very Ser.
Waste and inefficiency in local
government
21%
The City’s budget
18%
Lack of tree trimming
17%
27%
21%
16% 17%
911 emergency response times
18% 13%
9% 12%
0%
20%
Not Too Ser.
26%
29%
Traffic congestion
The quality of drinking water
Smwt. Ser.
16% 10%
48%
42%
14%
47%
39%
33%
6%
33%
28%
38%
61%
40%
26%
34%
66%
31%
50%
21%
76%
24%
25%
28%
40%
DK/NA
Total
Total
Ext./Very Smwt./Not
Serious Too Serious
20%
48%
60%
80%
100%
7. I'd like to read you some problems facing the City of Modesto that other people have mentioned. Please tell me whether you
think it is an extremely serious problem, a very serious problem, a somewhat serious problem, or not too serious a problem in
Modesto. Split Sample
16
17
Three-quarters feel the City of Modesto has
“great” or “some” need for additional funding.
Would you say that to provide essential services, the City of Modesto
has a great need for additional funding, some need, a little need, or
no real need for additional funding?
Great need
29%
Some need
46%
Little need
Total
Little/No
Need
17%
7%
No need
10%
Don't know
Total
Great/Some
Need
75%
8%
0%
20%
Q8.
40%
60%
18
Strong majorities would like to see any additional
funding spent on public safety or business attraction
services.
Ext. Imp.
Very Imp.
Smwt. Imp.
Not Imp./DK/NA
Total
Ext./Very
Important
Maintaining 911 emergency
response times
46%
37%
11% 6%
83%
Expanding gang crime prevention
services
47%
35%
14%
82%
18%
81%
Making neighborhoods safer
40%
Investigating and preventing
property-related crimes like theft
and burglary
41%
39%
Expanding programs to attract
business to Modesto
38%
35%
0%
20%
42%
40%
60%
22%
19%
80%
77%
5%
77%
100%
12. I am going to read you a list of specific services and programs and that could be improved or expanded upon if funding were
available. Please tell me how important it is to you personally: extremely important, very important, somewhat important, or not too
important. Split Sample
19
Many would also like to see funds spent
putting more police officers on City streets and
restoring police officer positions.
Total
Ext. Imp.
Very Imp.
Smwt. Imp.
Increasing the number of police
officers patrolling City streets
32%
40%
Restoring eliminated police officer
positions
33%
39%
Expanding after school programs for
at-risk youth
30%
35%
Expanding neighborhood-based
community policing
30%
35%
Investigating and preventing auto
thefts
24%
0%
20%
72%
18% 11%
71%
27%
29%
60%
Ext./Very
Important
8%
20%
23%
39%
40%
Not Imp./DK/NA
80%
11%
66%
7%
65%
8%
63%
100%
12. I am going to read you a list of specific services and programs and that could be improved or expanded upon if funding were
available. Please tell me how important it is to you personally: extremely important, very important, somewhat important, or not too
important. Split Sample
20
Majorities would also like to see funds spent on
road repairs and helping at-risk youth.
Ext. Imp.
Restoring eliminated fire fighter
positions
28%
Repairing potholes
22%
Very Imp.
Smwt. Imp.
33%
29%
30%
Expanding programs for at-risk
youth to obtain work experience
27%
33%
Expand community policing
programs like neighborhood watch
and national night out
22%
0%
27%
39%
Repairing deteriorating streets and
roads
32%
40%
13%
61%
7%
61%
60%
38%
37%
20%
Not Imp./DK/NA
Total
Ext./Very
Important
60%
28%
12%
60%
27%
14%
59%
80%
100%
12. I am going to read you a list of specific services and programs and that could be improved or expanded upon if funding were
available. Please tell me how important it is to you personally: extremely important, very important, somewhat important, or not too
important. Split Sample
21
Park maintenance, graffiti removal and school police
officers are comparatively lower budget priorities.
Ext. Imp.
Expanding drug prevention
programs
24%
Maintaining City parks
21%
Increasing the number of school
safety police officers
Very Imp.
Smwt. Imp.
33%
35%
25%
27%
Not Imp./DK/NA
29%
14%
57%
34%
11%
56%
31%
Putting a police officer in every
Modesto high school
20%
30%
32%
Expanding graffiti removal services
20%
27%
39%
0%
20%
40%
60%
Total
Ext./Very
Important
17%
52%
19%
49%
14%
80%
47%
100%
12. I am going to read you a list of specific services and programs and that could be improved or expanded upon if funding were
available. Please tell me how important it is to you personally: extremely important, very important, somewhat important, or not too
important. Split Sample
22
Few see expanding airport services, hiring private
security or creating more bike lanes as high priorities.
Ext. Imp.
Relieving traffic congestion
Improving traffic corridors for local
businesses
Expanding Modesto’s airport and
providing service to Los Angeles
14%
Very Imp.
Smwt. Imp.
22%
9%
26%
14%
17%
Not Imp./DK/NA
Total
Ext./Very
Important
40%
25%
36%
42%
23%
35%
28%
41%
31%
24%
31%
38%
31%
Creating more bike lanes 11% 18%
32%
39%
29%
Hiring private security patrols to
monitor and report neighborhood
crime
7%
0%
20%
40%
60%
80%
100%
12. I am going to read you a list of specific services and programs and that could be improved or expanded upon if funding were
available. Please tell me how important it is to you personally: extremely important, very important, somewhat important, or not too
important. Split Sample
23
Close to three-quarters would prefer to enact
new revenue rather than cut City services to
increase public safety funding.
I am going to read you two different approaches the City could take to increase funding
for police and fire protection. Please tell me which you would prefer the City to pursue.
Enact a one-half-cent sales tax measure to provide
additional funding for police and fire protection
73%
OR
Reduce services such as street paving, pothole repair,
tree trimming and park maintenance to provide
additional funding for police and fire protection
12%
Both/Neither/DK/NA
16%
0%
Q9.
20%
40%
60%
80%
24
25
Survey respondents were asked about
two conceptual revenue measures:
A one-half cent Special Purpose sales tax
dedicated to public safety
(Two-thirds vote threshold)
A one cent General Purpose sales tax
(Majority vote threshold)
26
Though both measures are viable, the General
Purpose measure has a greater margin for error
relative to their respective vote thresholds.
One-half Cent Public Safety
(2/3s vote requirement)
Definitely yes
45%
Probably yes
24%
Undecided, lean yes
Undecided, lean no
2%
0%
Total
9%
No
19% 29%
Probably no
Definitely no
Undecided
One Cent General Purpose
(simple majority req.)
27%
Total
Yes
71%
+4%
above
vote
threshold
30%
3%
0%
1%
0%
Total
Yes
60%
Total
14%
No
24% 39%
+10%
above
vote
threshold
1%
20%
40%
60%
80%
0%
20%
40%
60%
4/5. If there were an election today, do you think you would vote “yes” in favor of this measure or “no” to oppose it?
80%
27
Key Demographic Trends
 Majorities of all major demographic groups (e.g., gender, age,
partisan affiliation, and ethnicity) support both measures.
 Additionally, majorities of respondents from each City Council
District also support both measures.
 However, support for the one-half cent special purpose measure
(dedicated to public safety) falls short of the two-thirds vote
threshold in some demographic categories.
28
After three ballot tests, support for the general
purpose measure remains high…
One cent City of Modesto Public Safety and Essential Services Measure
Initial Vote
Second Test
Third Test
80%
65%
Total Yes
60%
Total No
39%
64%
60%
34%
35%
Majority Vote
Threshold (50%)
Undecided
40%
20%
1%
1%
1%
0%
5 Total and 14/16-Split Sample D. If there were an election today, do you think you would vote “yes” in favor of this measure or “no”
to oppose it?
29
…as does support for the
public safety measure.
One-half cent City of Modesto Public Safety/Crime Reduction Measure
Initial Vote
Second Test
Third Test
100%
79%
Total Yes
71%
76%
80%
60%
Two-thirds Vote Threshold (66.66%)
Total No
29%
20%
40%
22%
20%
Undecided
1%
1%
2%
0%
4 Total and 14/16-Split Sample C. If there were an election today, do you think you would vote “yes” in favor of this measure or “no”
to oppose it?
30
31
Conclusions
 Your constituents feel that the City overall--and their
neighborhood—are headed in the right direction. They value
their quality of life.
 For those who have been in direct touch with City Staff, they
are satisfied—a great finding.
 Significant percentages believe the City needs additional
funding, and are willing to support a revenue measure,
provided that a sunset is included.
 Constituent priorities for funding include public safety, jobs
and economic development programs.
 Should the City desire additional revenue, we recommend
that you place a one-cent General Purpose measure on the
Nov. 2013 Ballot. By law, such a measure can only be placed
on a regularly scheduled municipal election.
32
For more information, contact:
[email protected]
[email protected]
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