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City of Franklin shares citizen survey results at FrankTalks

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The results of the city of Franklin’s 2019 Citizens Survey were presented Monday at Franklin Tomorrow’s monthly FrankTalks meeting series. 

The event, held at SPARK: Lipscomb’s Idea Center, featured Franklin Administrator Eric Stuckey and Budget and Strategic Innovation Manager Michael Walters-Young presenting data from the 2019 survey.

The city partnered with the National Resource Center in March to perform a communitywide survey of Franklin residents to get their perspectives about the quality of the community and available services as well as residents’ priorities for Franklin. A random sample of 2,800 households took the survey.

“I think what you will see in the responses is that the citizens have a lot of commonality,” Walters-Young said. “The citizens want to work as a team to build a better community.”

Walters-Young described the survey methodology to the audience, listing how the surveys were sent out and noting the mailings had an overall response rate of 29%, while the national average was 26%. 

The methodology contained eight facets of livable communities: safety, mobility, natural environment, built environment, economy, recreation and wellness, education and enrichment and community engagement. The NCS questionnaire also included individual items that act as indicators of community quality within each of the eight facets. Split in a different way, they form three “pillars” of community quality: community characteristics, governance and participation.

Survey Results Highlights

- Almost all residents (97%) rated the quality of life in Franklin as excellent or good. Stucky noted this had improved since the last survey in 2016. He also mentioned that compared to other national benchmarks, Franklin ranked third in the nation for quality of life. Over 600 other cities participate in the survey.

- Residents identified economy, mobility and safety as priorities for the Franklin community in the coming two years. 

- Community characteristics, the first pillar, indicated that 99% of residents rate Franklin as an excellent or good place to live.

- Compared to national benchmarks, Franklin ranks sixth in the nation for places to live and first in the nation for overall image and reputation.

- Governance, the second pillar, indicated that 93% of residents rated overall quality of city services as excellent or good. Stuckey noted that 91% ranked Franklin as excellent in customer service. “This is a source of pride for us,” he said.

- Franklin ranked 11th in the nation for overall confidence in city government and sixth nationally in services provided.

- 83% of citizens felt the sense of community is either excellent or good. 

- 80% rated their satisfaction of the city’s management of growth as either very or somewhat satisfied. Stuckey said the goal set forth was to have 80% or better, but he did note this was down from 84% in 2016 and something that this was a “level of concern.”

Stuckey also shared what methods citizens preferred using to communicate with the city, and he was surprised to see social media at the bottom of the list. 

“Our citizens seem to be ‘old school’ when it comes to communication with us,” he said. “Seventy-nine percent prefer to use email, phone or in person with social media falling near the bottom of ways to communicate.”

The final questions asked were open-ended with growth, development and transportation leading the responses.

Walters-Young wrapped up the presentation by sharing the survey comparable from the past three.

“With the exception of cost of living, Franklin ranked in the top three in every economic category,” he said. “Forty-two percent of Franklin residents said the affordable housing ranks poor verses 11% in 2012.”

The entire survey and reports are available on the city’s website at www.franklintn.gov/government/departments-a-j/finance-administration/the-national-citizen-survey/-fsiteid-1.

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