According to the latest UWF Haas Center poll conducted for Mayor Ashton Hayward, City of Pensacola residents are generally pleased with city services.
Based on the grading system created by the Haas Center, the increases in satisfied and very satisfied residents when compared to the 2016 study were in City Streets (3.29-3.42), Stormwater Infrastructure (3.07-3.16), Cleanliness (3.67-3.76) and Athletic Facilities (3.67-3.68).
The satisfaction grades dropped on all the other city services, except for Community Centers (3.69) and Value for Taxes Paid (3.62) which remained the same as 2016.
The biggest drops were in Communications (3.69-3.55), Sanitation Services (4.04-3.92) and City Lighting (3.60-3.48).
|Value for Taxes||–||3.29||3.62||3.62|
|Codes & Ord.||3.34||–||–||–|
According to the Haas Center, the most significant declines are Ease of Obtaining Information about City Services (Communications), Recycling, Garbage and Yard Waste Services (Sanitation Services), and City Lighting. The most significant increase was in City Streets.
The grades were significantly higher than the Political Matrix poll conducted for Inweekly last month.
|Political Matrix||Haas Center|
The Political Matrix conducted its study via Interactive Voice Response (IVR) technology. The numbers used, landline and cellular, were supplied by the Escambia County Supervisor of Elections Office. Only households who voted at least three out of the last four elections were called. The survey had 500 respondents.
The Haas Center used the available phone numbers from census tracts inside the city limits. In total, 532 people completed the entire questionnaire.
To supplement phone calls, survey researchers conducted in-person or intercept surveys. Haas Center staff directly approached people in public places that fell within the City limits. Data was collected at major events, including: the Greater Gulf Coast Arts Festival, Barktoberfest and Veterans Day Parade.
This year the Haas Center paid more attention to the City Districts. However, the distribution of the respondents was different than The Political Matrix survey because census tracts aren’t the same as the voter rolls.
|Pensacola||Haas Center||Political Matrix|
|District||Census Tracts||Voter Rolls|
The most active voters are also older and tend to be more engaged, which also created different responses.
|UWF Hass Center||Political Matrix|
In the press release, Mayor Ashton Hayward said, “The fact that three out of four residents say that we are on the right track is strong confirmation that the energy and resources that are being invested in Pensacola are in line with the direction that our community wants to go.”
With such confidence that city residents believe his administration is on the right track, it’s difficult to understand why Mayor Hayward has been afraid to hold town hall meetings. The last one was in December 2013.
Based on the turnouts for town halls held by Escambia County commissioners Doug Underhill, Lumon May and Grover Robinson, whose districts include city residents, by the Studer Community Institute and its CivicCon initiative, by Council member Sherri Myers and Emerald Coastkeepers, by Congressman Matt Gaetz and by Inweekly and “Pensacola Speaks,” Pensacola residents want to be heard.
Plus, the Haas Center study shows citizens want better communications from city hall.
Armed with the study, Mayor Hayward should relaunch his “Taking City Hall to the Citizens” town halls and receive face-to-face validation on how the citizens feel about city services and hear suggestions for improvement.