From Mayor Jennifer Carroll: "It is my privilege to present the results of the 2019 Town of Erie Community Survey. The facilitator of the survey, National Research Center, has applauded our community’s significant response rate! I am also pleased to share that our Board can celebrate being on task with many of the initiatives you have deemed important (previously identified in our workplan initiatives). For example, we’ve just purchased the largest parcel of Open Space mere weeks before receiving this result: 42% of you rank Open Space acquisition as a high priority. This theme repeats itself time and time again!"
New to the survey in 2019:
• Seven additional special interest questions which covered a wide range of topics including Town priorities, changes to downtown, sustainability initiatives, civic engagement and reasons for choosing to live in Erie.
• An opt-in option to participate via an online survey for those who were not randomly selected via mail
Join me in this quick glance of survey results:
Natural Environment. For the first time since Erie began surveying, residents indicated that Natural Environment was a top priority. About 7 in 10 or more respondents gave positive evaluations to the overall natural environment, cleanliness and air quality. When asked to rate a variety of Town priorities, acquiring open space was recognized as a key focus by more than 80% of respondents, and came out on the top of the list. When asked why they chose to live in Erie, about half of respondents selected open space and views as a reason.
Economy. Residents prioritized Economy as an important focus area for the Town and ratings within this facet tended to be mixed. While evaluations for the overall economic health of the town and cost of living were similar to those given in other communities, ratings for other aspects of Economy were lower than the benchmarks and rated positively by about one-third of respondents or less. These lower-quality aspects included vibrant downtown area, overall quality of business and service establishments, shopping opportunities, employment opportunities, Erie as a place to visit and to work and economic development. When asked to rate Town priorities, using incentives to create business and employment opportunities was the second-most important item to residents.
Safety. Residents identified Safety as a priority for the Erie community. However, almost all residents gave high scores to their overall feeling of safety, their feeling of safety in their neighborhood and in Historic Downtown Erie. About 9 in 10 residents reported being crime-free for the 12 months prior to the survey. Crime prevention and the overall feeling of safety in Erie were ranked higher than the national benchmarks.
Community Characteristics. While most aspects of community characteristics remained stable from 2017 to 2019; a handful of aspects were trending up. Ratings improved over time for health care, cultural activities, k-12 education, childcare and preschool, and opportunities to participate in the community.
This year’s survey provides plenty of evidence that Erie remains a great investment. These results and others from the 2019 Town of Erie Community Survey provide your Board of Trustees with a sense of what is working well and what can be improved. I am pleased to invite you to review the complete survey results, and the presentation from The National Research Center to the board at: www.erieco.gov/CitizenSurvey. On behalf of the entire Board, “Thank you” for your active role in making Erie, Colorado the best place!
Mayor, Town of Erie