Monday, August 01, 2005

Ninety-five percent of Vacaville residents consider the city a good or excellent place to live

Article Launched: 07/29/2005 07:08:45 AM

Most residents find Vacaville satisfying

By Tom Hall/Staff Writer

Ninety-five percent of Vacaville residents consider the city a good or excellent place to live, according to a public opinion survey released Tuesday.

The survey, done by Gene Bregman and Associates, based in San Francisco, was presented to the Vacaville City Council Tuesday night.

Bregman, who completed a similar survey for the city in 2000, said the numbers were exceptional.

"It's nice to bring good news," he said. "I don't always."

Of the 400 Vacaville residents polled, only 1 percent called the city a poor place to live, and 4 percent responded that Vacaville was only a fair place to live.

Perhaps more striking was a survey result that had the council beaming: Only 10 percent of Vacaville residents consider crime a serious problem in the city.

Bregman said that figure is a lot lower than is typically seen in comparable cities.

The need to protect open space from development was rated as the top problem by those surveyed, with the need to provide housing at various price levels and the need for after-school programs for teenagers following.

The survey said 81 percent of residents rate the city government's job as good or excellent, with firefighters and emergency technicians getting top marks, followed by garbage removal employees and police.

Sixty-seven percent rated the City Council's performance as good or excellent, up from 63 percent in 2000.

The survey also included a question about the future uses of Lagoon Valley Park.

Respondents said they'd be most likely to use the park to have a picnic, to go bicycling, to go hiking or to observe wildlife.

The usage of the two government-funded cable stations was also looked at. Of programs broadcast on cable Channel 26, special events including the "Tribute to Seniors" and Fiesta Days rated highest, followed by City Council and school board meetings.

Bregman said the results are indicative of what would be found in an affluent community.

Veteran Councilwoman Pauline Clancy said she was glad the city opened the door for criticism by commissioning the survey - something not all governments would do.

"There are cities that wouldn't dare - they wouldn't dare - take one of these," Clancy said.

Tom Hall can be reached at

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