Library, parks system top 2018 Johnson County community satisfaction ratings; residents indicate support for safety-net services

The Johnson County Library is the county department residents are most satisfied with, according to this year’s survey.

The Johnson County Library and Johnson County Park and Recreation District top the list of county departments residents are most satisfied with in the 2018 Johnson County Community Satisfaction Survey released Thursday.

The annual survey, fielded to a random sample of around 1,500 households, measures attitudes about the quality of life in Johnson County as a whole as well as individual services and departments.

This year’s results find the county is maintaining high rates of satisfaction, meeting the same overall satisfaction index that it had in 2017.

Johnson County residents indicated they were pleased with the programming and services offered through the parks system. Photo credit JCPRD.

“We are pleased to see consistent results when compared to last year’s already high ratings and we continue to use this information to make informed decisions for the community,” said County Chair Ed Eilert.

Asked to rank which departments they were most satisfied with, the library came in first followed by the parks system. Those were followed by Johnson County MED-ACT, the K-State Research and Extension Office and the Johnson County Election office in places three through five.

And residents appear to want continued focus an investment in those departments. MED-ACT, the library and the parks system were among the top four departments lists when respondents were asked what services should be emphasized over the next two years. The Sheriff’s department topped that list, however, and was also the top department respondents said the county should invest in to improve residents’ satisfaction with the county.

Residents continue to view Johnson County as a great place to live, raise a family

Among the more notable results from the survey is continued high levels of satisfaction relative to national benchmarks. This year’s survey found:

  • 98 percent of respondents said they were satisfied with Johnson County as a place to live
  • 96 percent of respondents said they were satisfied with Johnson County as a place to raise kids
  • 89 percent said they were satisfied with Johnson County as a place to work
  • 93 percent of respondents were satisfied or very satisfied with their quality of life.
  • The quality of life rating this year was 20 percent above the national average and 22 percent above the large community average.
  • Residents’ image of Johnson County rated 29 percent above the national average and 30 percent above the large community average.
  • 91 percent of respondents had an overall feeling of safety in the county, with 96 percent saying they feel safe in the neighborhoods during the day and 90 percent reporting feeling safe at night.

Residents support safety-net for low income families; knowledge of poverty level is low

Eighty-eight percent of respondents in the survey said they thought providing safety-net services to low income residents was important, with 20 percent saying it was “somewhat important,” 30 percent saying it was “important” and 36 percent saying it was “very important.”

But respondents indicated limited knowledge of how someone who wanted to take advantage of safety-net services would do so. Just 23 percent of respondents said they were aware of how to access disability and human services programs in the county.

What’s more, 62 percent of participants said they were not aware that 34,000 Johnson Countians — 1 in 16 residents here — live below the federal poverty line.

The full results of this year’s survey are below:

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