This past January, Fairbank, Maslin, Maullin, Metz, and Associates (FM3) conducted a satisfaction survey throughout Milpitas. The online and telephone survey — which was conducted in English, Spanish, Mandarin, and Vietnamese — spanned a wide variety of topics, including questions about public safety, affordability, diversity, and the quality of city services.
788 residents were randomly selected for the survey, which was administered between January 10 and 28 of 2019. Surveys were taken over the telephone, and some residents received emails or postcards directing them to answer questions online.
The City of Milpitas hired FM3 in an effort to prepare the budget for Fiscal Year 2019-2020. When asked how she felt about the survey results, Milpitas City Manager Julie Edmonds-Mares said, “I was very happy that the consultants were able to get a diverse group of residents to participate, and that they gave positive results about our services and the values. This really helps us to develop the budget.”
Some major takeaways from the survey:
In terms of overall quality of life in Milpitas, 15% of those surveyed thought it was “excellent”, while 60% rated it as “good.”
51% feel that Milpitas is growing too fast.
57% said that Milpitas was headed in the right direction.
63% think that Milpitas is an unaffordable place to live.
76% would recommend the city to others as a good place to live.
Public safety received the highest satisfaction ratings…The Milpitas Fire Department had an 89% approval rating, and the Milpitas Police Department got 85% approval.
7 out of 10 people approve of city government in Milpitas overall.
The Milpitas City Council itself had a 57% approval rating; FM3 found that not many in the community are familiar with all the work that our councilmembers are doing. As for the topic of city budget management, a third of those surveyed couldn’t give any kind of opinion, as they had no info about the issue. And so approval numbers for budget management came in lower, at about 47%.
When asked about areas ripe for improvement, residents mentioned issues all across the board. Most of those surveyed believed it was necessary to improve traffic and general city services, eliminate the odor, and slow the pace of growth.
The highest levels of dissatisfaction were related to affordable housing and homeless services. Only 38% approved of the services provided to the homeless, and just 40% were satisfied with the city’s policies to develop and support affordable housing.