Public Policy Forum Blog

People Speak poll: High rates of satisfaction with municipal services

The latest edition of the People Speak poll, released today, finds that residents of southeast Wisconsin are mostly satisfied with the services they receieve from their city, town, or village government. The poll, conducted in late June and early July, surveys 391 adult residents of Milwaukee, Ozaukee, Washington, and Waukesha Counties.

The majority of survey respondents also report feeling their municipal government is a good value. The overall perception of local government's value is mostly unchanged from 2001, the last time we polled on this issue.

Other highlights:

  • High rates of satisfaction with municipal service quality (89% are satisfied), types of municipal services (85%), and access to municipal services (87%). Lower rates of satisfaction with the cost of municipal services (67%).
  • When asked to name the most important municipal service, 34% of respondents named a public safety service such as police or fire. About half (51%) of these respondents feel public safety services are best provided by individual municipalities, 17% feel they are best provided collaboratively by two or more municipalities, and 23% feel they are best provided by county government.
  • The sharing of municipal services across municipal boundaries is seen by a majority respondents as a likely way to cut costs. The percent of respondents saying service sharing is likely to save taxpayers money varies by the type of service.
  • When asked whether they would support state policy to require or provide incentives for greater collaboration or consolidation among municipalities or school districts, a majority of respondents indicate they would oppose such legislation. Fifty-four percent would oppose state fiscal incentives to encourage municipal service sharing and 55% would oppose requiring consolidation of small school districts.

The People Speak is conducted by the Forum in partnership with the Center for Urban Initiatives and Research at UWM and The Business Journal Serving Greater Milwaukee. The latest poll was funded by UWM.

For complete poll results, see the People Speak website.

Anneliese Dickman