CLEARWATER - Nine out of 10 Pinellas County residents say they have trust and confidence in their local government, a number that far surpasses the national average for trust in government.
This and other insights are the result of Pinellas County government’s 2017 Citizen Values Survey, which was recently conducted as part of the County’s ongoing efforts to engage the public and obtain feedback to guide future services.
Survey results were presented March 21 during the Pinellas County Commissioners’ regular meeting. The statistically-valid survey, which has been conducted annually for the past six years, reflected a 93 percent approval rating by citizens toward their local government.
The number is the highest recorded since the county officially began its citizen surveys in 2012.
The trust and confidence rates in Pinellas County outperformed the national average. According to a Gallup Poll, the national rate is 71 percent for local governments.
“Our residents continue to recommend Pinellas County as a place to live, work, raise children and retire, and that speaks volumes about the things we are doing to serve the public every day,” said Pinellas County Administrator Mark Woodard. “It sends a clear vote of confidence in the Board and in our vision to be the standard for public service in America.”
Survey results showed that a vast majority of residents are pleased with Pinellas County:
• 96 percent would recommend the county as a place to live. • 92 percent would recommend the county as a place to work. • 92 percent would recommend the county as a place to raise children. • 95 percent would recommend the county as a place to retire.
Future optimism also prevailed, with 85 percent of residents projecting the next five years to be better or just as good as the present.
“All of us who call Pinellas County home have a great love for our community,” said Commission Chair Janet Long. “We have worked hard and with all of our partners to address the common goals of our community. The fruits of this and of our workforce’s dedication to public service continue to show.”
Residents were also asked what they thought about certain aspects of their community. They reported that their experiences are closer than ever to their expectations, especially in the areas of presence of parks and public spaces, sense of community and cleanliness of public spaces.
“People are telling us they are more satisfied with their county than ever before,” said Woodard. “This is a powerful message and is an affirmation that with partners, we can do more.”
Areas of greater opportunity to close the expectation-experience gap included traffic flow, pedestrian travel and support services for the homeless.