Survey says: Aspen releases citizen results

By City of Aspen
December 27, 2011
A random selection of Aspen voters gave the City of Aspen high marks in the 2011 City of Aspen Citizen Survey, continuing a several-year trend of generally positive feedback. Aspen voters say they continue to enjoy a high quality of life and sense of safety in the City. Ninety-five percent of those surveyed ranked their overall quality of life in Aspen as excellent (62%) or good (33%).

“Each year since 1997 the City of Aspen has asked its citizens how things are going with a resident survey,” said Barry Crook, assistant city manager. “The Aspen Citizen Survey serves as a consumer report card for Aspen by providing registered voters the opportunity to rate their satisfaction with the quality of life, local facilities and services, as well as satisfaction with local government.”

The majority of residents surveyed said the City does an “excellent” or “good” job informing residents and that the information the City provides is of high quality. Eighty-four percent of respondents reported they were “somewhat satisfied” or “satisfied” with the services the City provides. Four percent said they were “not at all satisfied.” Some of those services include the Aspen Recreation Center, The Wheeler Opera House, parks and trails, street maintenance and plowing, housing, police, utility billing and Kids First. In general, ratings for each department remained steady from 2010 to 2011 although respondents felt more positively about their interaction with the City Manager’s Office this year. GIS, Kids First and Ice Garden received the overall highest evaluations with more than 95% of respondents saying they were satisfied.

A new question was added to the 2011 survey asking respondents to rate how important, if at all, it was to add or enhance a list of six features or services on the City’s Web site. Half of respondents felt that it was “very important” or “essential” that paying fees, taxes, and other charges (52%), bidding on affordable housing (49%) and applying for permits (48%) were made available on the Web site.

“The City of Aspen takes resident surveys seriously and uses the results to measure departmental performance,” Crook said. “We also use the surveys to see where change needs to occur in the way we do business.”

To such an end, the City is in the midst of purchasing software that would help customers apply online for building permits. The current paper-intensive system requires contractors to visit City Hall multiple times, even for small projects. Going from paper to digital will save time and hassles for many local contractors. “We’re excited about this new system. We think online permitting will be a great service for our customers,” said Chris Bendon, director of community development.

Respondents were asked what their greatest concerns were and generally the issues were water quality in the Roaring Fork River, pedestrian safety and construction impacts such as noise, traffic and runoff.

For a full copy of the survey, visit

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