2011 Community Survey

Recent state aid cuts have led the city to examine in greater detail the programs and services offered. There have been staff reductions, program cuts and changes in service delivery. 

City Council members expressed a desire for greater citizen input on budget matters. After much investigation staff identified a tool to provide that input – a resident survey designed by Cobalt Community Research, a 501c3 nonprofit coalition created to help governmental organizations measure, benchmark, and manage their efforts.

Their survey instrument is specifically designed to engage residents in budget and planning decisions. Citizen surveys give voice to a broader, more representative group of citizens than do public meetings.

Part of citizen engagement is to assess citizens’ satisfaction with various city services. This assessment using the American Customer Satisfaction Index (ACSI) gives us a benchmark allowing us to know how well services are being provided currently, and allow us in the future to determine if the city’s actions or inactions have an effect on resident satisfaction. The ACSI is used to rate both the government and commercial sectors.

The mail survey (PDF) was conducted in January and February of 2011. Results were presented to the city council at its March 28 meeting. View the presentation and read the summary report (PDF).

In the summary report you will notice that programs are represented by colored circles. The size of the circle denotes the size of that program's budget. Note that it was important to rate resident satisfaction with all city services. However, the survey included items such as the golf course that do not directly receive property tax support.

Among the Results

Roseville residents gave the city an overall satisfaction score of 72 out of 100 possible points. The nationwide score for cities is 58. The score for cities in the Midwest is also 58. When asked to rate the value of services received, residents gave Roseville a score of 66 out of 100.

The nationwide score for cities is 54; for cities in the Midwest the score is 53. The national score including the commercial sector is a 76. On the low end of the commercial sector cable and satellite TV scored a 63; Personal care and cleaning products have the high score of 85.

Residents said the city was doing a very good job of providing services. All services were rated above a 7 on a 10 point scale.

Among the services with high performance scores are elections, reliability of drinking water, firefighting services and the Muriel Sahlin Arboretum. Among the services rated lower are traffic congestion, water quality in lakes and ponds, and housing code / nuisance property enforcement.

Residents were also asked how important it is to continue funding each city service. Among those ranked as the most important to maintain at their current level are snowplowing of streets, reliability of water and sewer programs, and firefighting services. Among those that ranked of lower funding importance are Roseville Cable Channel 16, animal control, leaf pickup program and Cedarholm Golf Course.  

What's Next
The city council and staff will incorporate this information into budget planning for 2012 and beyond. While all services scored well, some did not score as highly as others. Among the options the council may consider are:
  • Eliminating or reducing funding to lower scoring programs
  • Increasing funding to improve the performance of lower scoring programs
  • Improve the efficiency of service delivery to increase satisfaction without providing additional funding
  • Improve communication about the effectiveness of programs to increase satisfaction without providing additional funding
The city uses a Priority Based Budgeting process whereby the council ranks programs and services. Items lower on the priority list typically receive less funding or may be eliminated.


All research is subject to imprecision based on scope, sampling error, response error, etc. All research is designed to reduce uncertainty, but it can never eliminate it. Roseville city leaders must evaluate all information thoroughly and independently and balance it with other sources of information, legal requirements, safety standards, and professional judgment before taking action based on research information.