City of Austin Performance Report 2014-15

Citizen Satisfaction with the Appearance of Park Grounds

Measure Description
This measure tracks citizen satisfaction with the appearance of park grounds in Austin and is gathered from the annual City of Austin Community Survey. Having clean and attractive parks reduces crime and vandalism as well as promotes the usage of the parks and increases physical activity. In addition, having clean and attractive parks reduces safety concerns in the park's infrastructure and increases the value of the homes in those neighborhoods. The citizens of Austin use and depend on the park system and have high expectations of the Department’s staff as well as the appearance of the parks grounds. The benchmark city average used in the chart below is a comparison to other local governments that are similar in population, size, and type of parks system to the City of Austin.
Calculation Method
This measure is the sum of “very satisfied” and “satisfied” responses divided by the total number of respondents who report an opinion. The measure excludes those who left the question blank or reported “don’t know.”
FY 2014-15 Results
In the 2015 Annual City of Austin Community Survey, 71% of respondents indicated that they were satisfied with the appearance of park grounds in the City of Austin. This is slightly above the goal of 70% and seven percentage points above the benchmark city average.
Assessment of Results
The above chart illustrates that the results of the community survey indicate that citizen satisfaction with the appearance of parks grounds remained constant from FY 2014 to FY 2015 (71%) and, in both years, exceeded the target (70%) by 1%. The appearance of park grounds in Austin continues to be ranked significantly above the benchmark city average for similarly-sized jurisdictions (64%). There is a direct correlation between the level of park maintenance staffing and the frequency with which park maintenance staff addresses maintenance needs, which in turn impacts the quality of the appearance of park grounds. In FY 2014, the City Council approved funding for 12.00 additional positions to augment trail services. Trail safety improved as newly added crews focused on cutting back vegetation, trimming trees, inspecting and repairing drainage systems along with reconstructing and reconditioning current trails. With this influx of resources the Department was able to maintain the historic satisfaction rate for park grounds. As the City continues to add parkland during this period of significant population growth, additional staff and equipment will be required to maintain or increase the level of customer satisfaction and quality of grounds maintenance.
Butler park on a day with a clear sky
Next Steps
Staff will continue to seek efficiencies by improving scheduling and leveraging resources, including volunteer and grant opportunities. PARD will also continue to document deferred work orders, safety concerns in the parks, and deficiencies in equipment to improve response time and increase satisfaction.
Contact Information
For more information contact Charles Vaclavik, Grounds Maintenance Division Manager, (512) 974-9471.