Cobalt Community Research has just released their 2009 Community Satisfaction Survey.  You can read the results here.

The study concludes that citizen satisfaction with local communities scores a 58 on a 100-point scale, falling well behind the private sector and the federal government.

Clearly, local governments are struggling to meet the demands of the community.  It is something that is being dealt within every government entity in California and throughout the country.

Perhaps most interesting though, is that there is no reasonable way someone can objectively argue that the federal government is better run than local government.

Since local government is closest to the people it effects, it leads to greater expectations.

The other portion that stands out is that fire department, library, utility service, community health care, police department, parks and recreation, property tax and community events all rate higher than local government administration.  

How can that be? Who delivers all of those services that people are so happy with?

Global economic conditions are clearly impacting the results. Those are things outside of the control of any public administrator in local government. 

It is hard to take responsibility for things outside of local control.

“Satisfied citizens exhibit higher levels of civic engagement, public trust and economic investment in their communities,” according to the report.

“Highly satisfied citizens (85+) are: 47 percent more likely to remain in the community, 59 percent more likely to recommend the community as a good place to live, 70 percent more likely to support the current local government administration.”

The strongest message the Cobalt Team provides in this survey is that local government can do more to serve the people in its communities.