Organizational Excellence

Be an innovative, effective, engaged, and transparent organization focused on quality programs and services.

Goal 2, Objective 1

Conduct a community satisfaction survey to identify baseline expectations.
Complete 100%

Updated: January 2024

Summary of objective implementation status (achievements or progress over last year; significant delays or issues, etc.)

On May 23, 2023, staff provided an update to the Board of Supervisors on the results of the community survey, which was conducted between March 28, 2023, and April 7, 2023. This survey is intended to provide baseline data that may be used to evaluate trends in future years and will inform the County’s community engagement strategy.

Key findings from the survey include:

  • Sonoma County residents are divided about the direction of the county, but the majority are content with their quality of life, particularly in their neighborhoods.
  • Most who have accessed county services in recent years have had positive interactions with county employees.
  • Majorities say they are excited about the future of Sonoma County, that services are convenient and easy to access, and that Sonoma County is a welcoming place to live. However, a majority are worried about changes happening in the county.
  • Homelessness, affordable housing, road repairs, crime, and cost of living are top concerns for residents. Most residents believe that homelessness has worsened in recent years.
  • Housing affordability is a significant concern, with many residents worried about finding affordable housing for themselves and their loved ones.
  • Overall job ratings for both county and city governments are negative, suggesting a general dissatisfaction with government.
  • The county receives positive ratings for emergency and disaster response, fire services, parks and playgrounds, and preservation of natural areas.
  • Ratings for street and road maintenance, services for those experiencing mental health crises, and services for the homeless indicate a perceived need for improvement in these areas.

More information on this survey is available in the 5/23/23 Board Item.

The County Administrator’s Office plans to conduct a community survey every two years moving forward. This initial survey will provide baseline data that may be used to evaluate trends in future years.

Key milestone update (include relevant metrics, if applicable)

  • Development of the RFP and vendor selection: COMPLETE
    • A request for qualifications was issued in September 2022. Eight proposals were received and evaluated. Two highly qualified vendors were identified. EMC Research was selected for this project.
  • Design of the survey and sampling plan: COMPLETE
    • The survey included several categories of questions, including quality of life, top issues/concerns, County of Sonoma government overall ratings, services ratings, emergency preparedness, communications, and demographics. The survey took approximately 18 minutes to complete.
    • EMC Research employed mixed mode methodology, ensuring a random sample that is demographically and geographically representative of County adult residents based on American Community Survey 5-Year Estimates.
  • Survey was administered in between March 2023 and April 2023: COMPLETE
    • A total of 1,019 interviews were conducted with a margin of error of plus or minus 3.1 percentage points at the 95% confidence interval. Of the interviews, 10% were conducted by phone, 47% by email, 43% by text. 97% of interviews (both phone and online) were conducted in English and 3% were conducted in Spanish. 12% of phone surveys were taken in Spanish while 2% of online surveys were taken in Spanish.
    • In this survey, 72% of survey respondents were from incorporated Sonoma County and 28% were unincorporated residents.
  • Presentation of the survey results: COMPLETE

Coordination and partnership update

County departments shared the questionnaires and results of previous surveys conducted on specific topics and services. These results were reviewed and used to inspire and inform the community survey questionnaire.

Community, equity and climate update

The Office of Equity reviewed and provided feedback on the community survey RFQ scope. In addition, an Office of Equity staff participated in the statements of qualifications evaluation. The Climate and Resiliency Division provided input on the RFQ scope and timeline.

The County Administrator’s Office shared the survey report with the Office of Equity for their review as they implement Strategic Plan Organizational and Excellence Pillar Goal 2, Objective 2: Using results from survey, develop and launch a community engagement and outreach strategy, establish a process for engagement and collaboration, and ensure the strategy is inclusive of all underserved populations.

Funding narrative (If this objective received Strategic Plan funding in year 1 or year 2, please provide a status of expenditures to date.)

This objective secured $150,000 in Year 1 Strategic Plan funding. Staff entered into contract with EMC Research for an all-inclusive Community survey project in the amount of $40,140. The remaining budget, $109,860 will be set aside to support the next community surveys which are anticipated to take place in 2025 and 2027.