OCEAN CITY – The results of the National Citizen Survey, sent out to a random sampling of Ocean City residents, were released this week, giving town officials insight into some of the thoughts and opinions of residents.
Dr. Thomas Miller of the National Research Center presented the Mayor and Council with the results of the surveys at Monday night’s council meeting.
Random samples of 3,000 households were sent surveys. Although some of the surveys were sent back after failing to reach appropriate addresses, 839 surveys were completed and returned. In total, the survey maintained a survey rate of 39 percent, which, according to Dr. Miller, is on the high end. Average survey rate results typically lie between 25 and 40 percent.
Miller pointed out that only 23 percent of those who filled out the surveys have attended a public meeting of the Mayor and Council or public hearing.
The survey presented a profile of the residents in Ocean City, revealing some geographic and demographic facts about residents. Of those who completed the survey, 26 percent have lived in Ocean City over 20 years. Ninety-six percent reported to be over the age of 34 with an additional 39 percent over the age of 64. Forty-eight percent are currently employed. Seventy-five percent claimed to live north of the Route 90 Bridge with 93 percent of survey participants owning their home and 7 percent renting.
Councilman Jay Hancock pointed out the survey was lacking in the voice of the younger generation, noting that those over the age of 55 are more likely to fill out the survey.
The overall quality of life fared well in the survey with 60 percent of participants rating the quality of life as “good” and 18 percent rating it as “excellent”.
The three highest rated characteristics in Ocean City were, recreation opportunities, air quality, and overall appearance. The characteristics causing the most concern to citizens were reported as, too much growth, taxes, and traffic congestion. Miller pointed out the major problems citizens reported Ocean City to be facing were, in comparison, good problems to have. The problems rated as the lowest of citizens concerns were crime, homelessness and graffiti.
To see the complete survey results, see The Dispatch on Friday.