According to the annual Residential Satisfaction Survey, Salem residents expressed satisfaction with core City services such as emergency response, parks, and street lighting. Consistent with responses since 2016, nine out of ten residents are generally satisfied with the services the City provides. Residents also expressed satisfaction with the city's cultural offerings and most think their neighborhoods are getting a fair share of City resources. More than half of residents think the City is headed in the right direction, despite decreased confidence in that direction since the December 2017 survey.
Resident voiced concerns about homelessness and City infrastructure. While homelessness was a top concern in both 2017 (26%) and 2016 (17%), more residents (33%) list it as the most important issue for Salem to do something about in 2018. Roads, potholes and other infrastructure were also noted by residents as needing improvement. A majority of residents with experience driving across town during peak traffic hours say it is difficult (73%). Nearly half of those surveyed listed building and making major repairs to streets, bridges and sidewalks as their highest priority for future investments. According to the survey results, residents feel that most everyday tasks are easy in Salem, particularly walking or biking, getting a permit or paying a bill, operating a business, and finding information on how decisions are made or solving City issues.
The Salem City Council commissioned the Residential Satisfaction Survey to better understand residents' priorities. The insights drawn from the survey and other outreach activities helps City leaders plan for the future of Salem. Residential Satisfaction Survey results are one input into the City Council's annual work plan and direction to the organization, the City Council Policy Agenda.
The 2018 Residential Satisfaction Survey was conducted from September 8 to September 10, 2018 via telephone calls to both English and Spanish-speaking Salem residents. Measures were taken to ensure that survey responses accurately represented all areas of the City and the diverse backgrounds of its residents.