Local News

Results of Community Survey & Appetite for New Taxes

A representative of FM3, a firm that specializes in public-policy oriented opinion research, gave the results of a community survey conducted with 515 residents who are likely voters, at the March 3 city council meeting.

According to the staff report, “The results of the survey indicated that respondents have mixed opinions about the City. They mostly consider it a good place to live and a safe community. But there is concern about the direction of the City and increased crime. Based on the responses, there is a strong sense that the City needs additional funding to address key priorities such as: homelessness, condition of streets and infrastructure and emergency response/public safety.”

Here are some of the results of the survey, along with more detailed slides from the presentation:

The City of Fullerton is going in the:

Right direction: 40%

Wrong track: 36%

Don’t know: 24%

Your local neighborhood is going in the:

Right direction: 53%

Wrong track: 38%

Don’t know: 10%

Fire Department:

Total approve: 91%

Total disapprove: 2%

Police Department:

Total aprove: 75%

Total disapprove: 20%

City Government:

Total approve: 52%

Total disapprove: 33%

City Council:

Total approve: 45%

Total disapprove: 37%

More than seven in ten respondents rate Fullerton as at least a “good” place to live.

A majority of respondents perceive that crime has increased in recent years, but Fullerton is still generally considered to be safe.

The city of Fullerton is a safe place to live, work, and raise a family:

Total accurate: 83%

Total inaccurate: 17%

Homelessness, the cost of housing and the condition of local streets are considered to be the most serious problems:

Extreme/very serious problem:

Homelessness: 78%

The number of homeless residents in the city: 78%

The condition of city streets and sidewalks: 64%

The cost of housing: 60%

Crime, gangs, and drugs: 42%

Property crimes such as home and auto break-ins: 42%

Waste and inefficiency in city government: 40%

Seven in ten respondents believe the city has at least “some” need for additional funding to provide City Services.

Great/Some need: 70%

Little/No real need: 24%

Don’t know: 6%

Ballot/Tax Questions Tested in Survey

The survey also polled residents about their likelihood to support new taxes (sales, parcel, and cannabis) to address city issues like infrastructure. Less than a majority of respondents support a streets-only parcel (property) tax that requires a two-thirds vote for passage.

Total yes: 41%

Total no: 53%

Undecided: 7%

Nearly three-quarters of respondents believe it is appropriate for Fullerton City government to fund City services by taxing marijuana sales.

Total in favor: 73%

Total against: 19%

Undecided: 8%

Six in ten respondents support a potential sales tax, especially for road repair and addressing homelessness.

Total yes: 61%

Total no: 35%

Undecided: 4%

Conclusions

Respondents have mixed opinions about the city: they mostly consider it a good place to live and a safe community. But there is concern about the direction of the City and homelessness.

There is a strong sense that the City needs additional funding.

With that background, a potential one percent, general purpose sales tax ballot measure is clearly viable for further planning, according to FM3.

A representative of FM3 presents the community survey results to city council.

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4 replies »

  1. It’s curious that the consultants did not ask about a special tax; only a general sales tax, which INRAC unanimously supported and recommended.

    ALSO, the infrastructure committee was not able to see the results of this report until it was presented at City Council last week.

    • I’m sure there will be a discussion of the results at INRAC tomorrow morning, right?

      • We discussed this report today briefly, but it’s in the city manager’s hands now, and we have no more say until it comes back to us, if ever.

        None of the members of INRAC felt great about the methodology of the survey, it’s secrecy, or how it was taken.

        Also roughly 500 survey respondents is just .00357 of Fullerton’s population, so is that really representative of the whole city?

  2. That’s about 200 fewer than the City-staff coordinated survey last year. Since there was no mention of how the 500 respondents were selected, I would agree that isn’t a scientifically valid survey response.

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