Results from last year’s citizen survey show the quality of Calcasieu Parish government services staying the same or improving, with more than 52 percent saying they would recommend the parish to friends or family as a quality place to live.
Police jurors heard about the survey on Thursday. The second done by the parish, it provides staff with public feedback on the priorities outlined in a three-year strategic plan approved by the Police Jury last year.
John Snow with Emergent Method — the Baton Rouge based company that compiled the data — said 635 residents voluntarily completed the survey, compared to 734 in 2018.
Overall service satisfaction was ranked from a score of 1-5, with five being the best. Homeland security, facility management, animal services, mosquito control, human services, planning and development, juvenile justice and public works improved slightly from the 2018 survey. Special service districts, such as fire, water, drainage and recreation, were unchanged.
“There was no negative movement; there was no regression in terms of satisfaction,” Snow said. “People are increasingly satisfied with the level of services they’re getting. We’re trending in the right direction.”
Homeland security/emergency preparedness ranked at the top (4.0), while planning and development and public works were at the bottom (2.6). The scores for planning and public works reflect the growth Calcasieu Parish has endured over the last several years and the regular interaction these departments have with residents, Snow said.
“Maybe they had a permit issue or had an issue with flooding,” he said. “All of those things can feed into how you rate a department.”
Two priorities listed in the strategic plan saw noted improvement, Snow said.
More than 37 percent of respondents said litter enforcement improved, while 31 percent said facilitating parishwide development was better.
“What you have done in the years since doing that (first) survey is obviously making an impact because people are noticing there’s an improvement,” he said.
Residents said they want the parish to prioritize drainage and the maintenance of ditches and culverts, along with controlling traffic through large-scale infrastructure projects. Snow said both issues are complex and require many approaches to address.
More than 51 percent of survey participants said they were either satisfied or highly satisfied with the level of customer service provided by parish employees. Another 30 percent were neutral.
The two most frequent interactions with parish government included visiting parish parks and requesting services. Ranking third was the response, “I don’t typically interact with parish government.” Snow said some residents may be in situations where they don’t realize they’re interacting with parish government.
“I think it represents a real opportunity to continue educating citizens on the types of services we’re providing, who’s responsible for what,” he said.
The average score of how easy residents can access information about parish services and programs was 4.5 out of seven. Most participants said they use social media, the Police Jury’s website, television and email to get news and other information from the parish.
Results from the survey will be used during a Police Jury retreat tentatively scheduled for April or May, said Parish Administrator Bryan Beam.
The full report is online at calcasieuparish.gov/citizensurvey. For more, call 721-3570.