Leaves are changing, and temperatures are dropping, which means the summer has come to an end. It was a busy summer with so many fun activities and events. I hope you were able to join us this summer! It was also the third warmest summer on record – this speaks to the importance of addressing our climate as one of our Council goals. Now it’s Fall, and many of us have been busy preparing for school, arranging schedules, gathering supplies, preparing for homework, and enjoying pumpkin-spiced anything.
I am doing my fair share of homework, and one report that I want to highlight is from the recent National Community Survey. This survey, developed by Polco and the National Research Center, is conducted in over 600 cities across the country. This allows us to compare our results with national benchmarks. Tigard last conducted a similar survey in 2015, and this new one was conducted for six weeks from April to June this year.
This survey focused on our core services and the livability of Tigard. The questions and responses provide a picture of which areas of livability we should prioritize and what is needed to make our city even more livable and desirable for everyone.
There was a series of questions asked about services, from development to utilities, economy to engagement, and everything in between. We also included two customized questions to see how our community receives information and how our Council goals resonate throughout our city.
The good news is we are doing really well!
Some of the key findings:
Tigard residents experience a high quality of life.
- 9 in 10 residents positively reviewed Tigard as a place to live.
- 8 in 10 offered favorable ratings to the overall quality of life in Tigard, were pleased with the city as a place to raise children, and planned to remain in Tigard for the next five years.
Residents feel safe in their community, and safety is a top priority.
- 9 in 10 residents felt that safety was essential over the next two years.
- 91% feel very safe in their neighborhood.
Residents value the quality of our services provided by Tigard.
- Drinking water: 88% feel service is good to excellent.
- Power (electric and/or gas) utility: 84% feel service is good to excellent.
Our Council goals resonated with the community as well. All four goals received favorable support, with enhanced community safety receiving 86% of responses stating this was very important or essential.
We also learned that the community relies on local media outlets, our website, and our newsletter as their major sources of information. Yet another reason why I value this monthly column in Tigard Life!
Every city must balance available resources with needs and community asks. That’s why this survey is so helpful in letting us know where we are excelling and where we have opportunities to improve. It’s a valuable guide for future discussions, especially as we ramp up for the next budget cycle. I am so grateful we were able to launch this in 2023 and will do so again in 2025. To the Tigard community, thank you for your input. We are listening!
To learn more about the survey and the results, I encourage you to view the September 19 Council meeting and listen to the presentation about what we learned and the next steps.