2014 Community Survey

Findings from the recently completed National Citizen Survey™ (NCS) of Wilsonville were presented at the October 6 meeting of the Wilsonville City Council by Damema Mann, Senior Project Manager of the NCS at National Research Center in Boulder, CO. The 2014 survey for Wilsonville was the second conducted for the community and compared current results with a prior survey conducted in 2012 and with survey results from over 500 communities across the U.S.

 In commenting on the survey results, Mann said, “Just like in 2012, Wilsonville residents continue to rate the quality of life and overall satisfaction with City government services among the highest we have seen throughout the nation. In addition, when we compare the 2014 survey results to the 2012 results, we even see improvement in many categories over the past two years.” Mann continued, “Residents are also very favorable about the community as a place to live, work and do business and the overall appearance and quality of life.”

Mayor Tim Knapp observed that, “These new survey results confirm that the City is headed in the right direction as our community develops, and Wilsonville seeks to provide top-quality services to residents and businesses. We still have a lot of work to do to ensure that our community grows in a responsible manner that retains our high quality of life and level of City services that community members currently enjoy.”
Wilsonville as a place to live

City Manager Bryan Cosgrove said, “The survey is a valuable tool for allowing City officials to gauge public opinion and guide policy. The results allow us to hear the voices of our community and to assess the direction we are headed,” Cosgrove said.

Highlights from the 2014 survey include: 

• At least 4 in 5 respondents gave excellent or good ratings to all aspects of Safety and Natural Environment. 

• Regarding the Economy, aspects higher than the national benchmark were: overall economic health of Wilsonville, vibrant commercial areas, employment opportunities and Wilsonville as a place to work. 

• At least 9 in 10 respondents reported that they had recycled at home, purchased goods or services in Wilsonville, visited a City park and participated in physical activity. 

• Other features of the community that received ratings higher than other communities in the nation were the overall feeling of safety in Wilsonville, paths and walking trails, ease of walking, travel by bicycle, travel by public transportation, overall natural environment, cleanliness of Wilsonville, overall built environment, public places and K-12 education. 

When questioned about “How well does the government of Wilsonville meet the needs and expectations of its residents,” 86% of respondents gave excellent or good ratings to the overall quality of City services. In total, respondents evaluated over 30 individual services and amenities available in Wilsonville. Other Governance-related features of the survey include: 

• About 7 in 10 respondents gave positive ratings to the value of services for taxes paid, the overall direction of Wilsonville, welcoming citizen involvement, confidence in City government, acting in the best interest of Wilsonville, being honest and treating all residents fairly. 

• About 4 in 5 respondents gave excellent or good ratings to the overall customer service provided by City employees. 

Most of the City’s ratings were similar to the national benchmark; however 12 were higher and none were lower: 

• All aspects of Governance received ratings of excellent or good by a majority of respondents. Ratings for street repair, street cleaning, sidewalk maintenance, traffic signal timing, drinking water and sewer services all increased from 2012 to 2014. 

• Ratings that were higher than the national benchmark included: street repair, street cleaning, street lighting, sidewalk maintenance, bus or transit services, drinking water, natural areas preservation, storm drainage, code enforcement, City parks and public libraries. 

Overall, ratings in Wilsonville for 2014 generally remained stable. Of the 84 items for which comparisons were available from the 2012 survey, 61 items were rated similarly in 2012 and 2014; four items showed a decrease in ratings and 19 showed an increase in ratings. Notable trends over time included the following: 

• Several of the ratings that increased from 2012 to 2014 were in the facet of Mobility. Ratings increased for traffic flow, travel by car, travel by bicycle, street repair, street cleaning, sidewalk maintenance and traffic signal timing. No Mobility ratings decreased from 2012 to 2014. 

• While ratings decreased for shopping opportunities, ratings increased for employment opportunities in Wilsonville from 2012 to 2014. 

• Within the area of governance, several City services received higher ratings in 2014 compared to 2012. In addition to the Mobility items, ratings increased for drinking water, sewer services, value of services for taxes paid and the job Wilsonville does at welcoming citizen involvement. 

• When looking at the issue of citizen participation, more residents in 2014 reported having used Wilsonville recreation centers. 

• In terms of community Participation, about 7 in 10 respondents gave excellent or good ratings to the sense of community in Wilsonville. This rating was similar to the national benchmark and remained stable from 2012 to 2014. At least 4 in 5 respondents indicated that they were likely to recommend living in Wilsonville and remain in Wilsonville. 


The National Citizen Survey™ (NCS) is a collaborative effort between National Research Center, Inc. (NRC) and the International City/County Management Association (ICMA). The NCS was developed by NRC to provide a statistically valid survey of resident opinions about community and services provided by local government. The NCS focuses on a series of community characteristics and local government services, as well as issues of public trust. Resident behaviors related to civic engagement in the community also are measured in the survey.

The NCS captures residents’ opinions within the three pillars of a community (Community Characteristics, Governance and Participation) across eight central facets of community (Safety, Mobility, Natural Environment, Built Environment, Economy, Recreation and Wellness, Education and Enrichment and Community Engagement).

The NCS report for Wilsonville discusses trends over time, comparing the 2014 ratings for the City to the previous survey results in 2012. The report also provides comparisons for Wilsonville’s ratings to national benchmark standards.

Participating households are selected at random and the household member who responds is selected without bias. Multiple mailings give each household more than one chance to participate with self-addressed and postage-paid envelopes. Results are statistically weighted to reflect the proper demographic composition of the entire community. A total of 351 completed surveys were obtained, providing an overall response rate of 29%. Typically, response rates obtained on citizen surveys range from 25% to 40%. The margin of error for survey results is plus or minus five percentage points.