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Wednesday, March 20, 2013
Honolulu City Auditor Survey: Environment Great, Living Tough
By News Release @ 5:47 PM :: 6035 Views :: Honolulu County, Hawaii Statistics

City and County of Honolulu Service Efforts and Accomplishments Report (FY 2012)

Release from Honolulu City Auditor March 8, 2013

This is the City Auditor’s third annual Service Efforts and Accomplishments Report for the City and County of Honolulu. The report is intended to be informational. It provides data about the costs, quality, quantity, and timeliness of city services. It includes a variety of comparisons to other cities and the results of a citizen survey.  The purpose of the report is to provide the Honolulu City Council, city employees, and the public with an independent, impartial assessment of performance trends that can be used to strengthen governmental accountability and transparency, improve governmental efficiency and effectiveness, provide data for future decision making, and improve the delivery of public services.

OVERALL SATISFACTION (pages 4-5 and pages 19-31)

This report includes the fourth National Citizen Survey of Honolulu residents conducted for the city and the third administered in conjunction with this report. The survey provides useful information that may be used by city staff, elected officials, and other stakeholders for many purposes, such as community planning and resource allocation, performance measurement, and program and policy evaluation. The results may also be used for program improvement, policy making, and to identify community and service strengths and weaknesses. 

A variety of community characteristics were evaluated by the survey participants. 74% of the residents rated the overall quality of life in the City and County of Honolulu as excellent or good, 81% rated it as an excellent or good place to live, and 76% rated their neighborhood as an excellent or good place to live. 85% reported they plan to stay in the city over the next five years. High ratings of excellent or good were given to contact with the fire department (96%), and ambulance or emergency medical services (86%). Other favorable ratings were shopping opportunities (74%), recreation opportunities (73%), drinking water (72%), and air quality (72%). Opportunities to volunteer (75%), and quality of the overall natural environment in Honolulu (71%) also received high excellent or good ratings.

Characteristics receiving the lowest excellent or good ratings were the availability of affordable quality housing (9%), availability of affordable quality child care (14%), and the amount of public parking (11%). Traffic flow on major streets (11%), street repair (17%), and ease of car travel (20%) also received low ratings. Jobs growth was seen by residents as too slow (72%), and population growth as too fast (70%). A majority of survey participants (59%) reported they paid housing costs of more than 30% of their monthly household income, which is much more than national benchmarks.

Changes in city bus services in FY 2012 resulted in lower ratings by residents. Residents rating ease of bus travel in Honolulu as excellent or good declined from 51% in 2011 to 39% in 2012. Likewise, residents rating bus or transit services as excellent or good decreased from 68% in 2011 to 58% in 2012.

Safety from violent or property crimes creates the cornerstone of an attractive community. No one wants to live in fear of crime or other threats. Daytime safety ratings were better than nighttime safety ratings. Residents rating safety in their neighborhood during the day as excellent or good (92%) was higher than safety ratings for the neighborhood after dark (68%). Similarly, safety ratings for downtown Honolulu during the day (68%) declined after dark (18%).

Public trust ratings varied. Resident ratings were below national benchmarks for value of services for the taxes paid to Honolulu (33% excellent or good), overall direction that Honolulu is taking (30% excellent or good), and services provided by the City and County of Honolulu (53% excellent or good).

A Key Driver Analysis examined the relationships between service ratings and city ratings. Services that closely correlated to residents’ perceptions of city services overall were animal control, sewer services, traffic enforcement, police services, and public information services. By targeting improvements in these key services, the city may influence residents’ overall service quality ratings.

read … The Entire Report (231 pages)

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