Survey Says Olathe Still Performing at “Elite” Level

Results from the City of Olathe’s annual citizen satisfaction survey were presented to the City Council on Tuesday, March 5, and show the city continues performing at an exceptionally high level.

The survey shows high citizen satisfaction levels for every major category, including 91% satisfaction for quality of city services in Olathe, compared to 54% in the Kansas City area and 57% nationally.  In addition, satisfaction with value for tax dollars stands at 76% percent.  The national average is 45% satisfaction, and the Kansas City area stands at 40%.  Other findings include: 83% satisfaction with customer service (compared to 57% for the Kansas City area/55% nationally), and 82% satisfaction with effectiveness of city communication (48% Kansas City area/46% nationally).  The survey also shows consistently high satisfaction levels throughout the city with no geographic areas noting significantly lower satisfaction levels.

According to residents surveyed, traffic flow continues to be their highest priority (54%) followed by maintenance of city streets/buildings/facilities (51%) and quality of police/fire/ambulance services (42%).

The survey, DirectionFinder, is administered by ETC Institute.  Olathe is one of some 600 city and county governments across the country using it.  1,225 residents responded covering all areas of the city.  The survey has a margin of error of +/-2.8%.

According to ETC Institute’s Chris Tatham, Olathe continues performing at an elite level.  He said, “Olathe’s satisfaction levels continue to be exceptionally high and remain some of the highest numbers not only in this area but in the entire country.”  Tatham attributed the high numbers to the City Council’s willingness to listen to residents.  “Olathe continues to use resident feedback to make critical decisions, and to me, it has made a clear difference in satisfaction over the years.”

The City has used DirectionFinder annually since 2000 to track and benchmark city performance.  It has been a critical decision-making tool for service delivery and resources allocation.  According to Olathe City Manager Michael Wilkes, the survey is invaluable for the Council and staff to listen to residents.  He said, “The Council makes it very clear that our revenue belongs to our taxpayers, and DirectionFinder is essential to making sure we invest in in the services and projects they feel most important.”

The complete 2012 DirectionFinder survey is available in the “Accountable Government” section of the City’s website,