Chances are, you live in West Linn because it is family-oriented, has friendly and involved citizens, and we have low crime and great schools. Those exact sentiments are reflected in our recent community survey results.
Every two years the city conducts a statistically valid survey to gauge how we are doing. This year’s survey was done in November and December. The city council heard the results of the survey during its Jan. 9 retreat.
I’d like to share some of the findings with you. Overall, residents rate West Linn an 8.4 on a scale of 1 (very poor) to 10 (excellent) as a place to live.
The survey also explored specific issues so we know the level of support and interest from the community on the issues.
The city is considering creating a new publically run fiber utility that would provide exceptionally fast internet service throughout West Linn. The survey showed that 49 percent were somewhat or very supportive of this idea.
We also asked about redeveloping the area near the arch bridge, changing from industrial and commercial to a mix of uses, including commercial and residential. An overwhelming 81 percent were supportive of this plan. The city worked with the community all last year in developing a plan for this area. I’m pleased there is so much support to revitalize this part of West Linn and truly create a gateway into our city.
Top transportation and infrastructure priorities in the survey were sidewalks, bike lanes, public transportation system, trails and city roads. There was a reported need for road maintenance, additional sidewalks and expanded public transportation options. This input is particularly important as the city is currently working to update its 2008 Transportation Systems Plan and it has come up as a city council goal for 2015.
One of our goals last year was to improve citizen engagement. I’m happy to see that 80 percent of the community is satisfied with the job the city does in communicating with the public, up 4 percent from our last survey and a 9-point jump in “very” satisfied. And the top places you get information about West Linn? The West Linn Tidings (Woot!), the city website and the newsletter that is included in your utility bills.
We also asked residents to rank city services on a scale of 0 to 10 (very poor to excellent). Top ranking services include the library, parks and police. Kudos to staff who work in those departments!
Though I didn’t need a survey to know this, people choose to live in West Linn because of its great services and beautiful scenery. The survey, however, is evidence that we are headed in the right direction and I, for one, am proud to call West Linn home.