Things are looking pretty bright in Pinellas, and residents seem to be noticing.
A new citizen values survey presented to the Board of County Commissioners Tuesday morning showed — among other things — that 9 out of 10 people recommend Pinellas as a place to live, work, raise children and retire.
“I love the smell of data in the morning,” said Commissioner Ken Welch.
To break those figures down even further, 94 percent of those polled recommended Pinellas as a good place to live; 89 percent recommended it as a good place to work; 91 percent to raise children, and 94 percent to retire.
“This marks the year that we have seen the most improvement in those measurements – virtually across the board,” commented County Administrator Mark Woodard.
When the study began in 2012, only about 84 percent of those polled recommended Pinellas as a good place to live; just 73 percent recommended it as a nice place to work; 75 percent to raise children, and 87 percent to retire.
According to this year’s survey, the demographic most likely to recommend the county as a suitable place to both live and raise children were the 18 to 29 year-olds. Employed individuals were the most liable to recommend this area as a place to work.
The survey also showed an increase in county government approval ratings.
Roughly 91 percent, or 9 out of 10 people polled, reported having a “great deal” to “fair amount” of trust and confidence in Pinellas County government — the highest recorded level since the survey began.
The 2016 survey marks a significant increase from 2015, a year which showed just above an 82 percent approval rating in the same category.
Comparatively, Pinellas’ “trust and confidence in local government” outperformed the rest of the country by roughly 21 percent. According to Gallup, the national average of residents who hold a great deal or fair amount of trust and confidence in their local government is roughly 70 percent.
“I think this is a very tangible reflection of the strong leadership and shared values of not only us as County Commissioners, but of Mark [Woodard] and the staff that [he has] put together that are carrying out the directives and policies that we set forth,” said Commissioner Janet Long.
As for quality of life, the areas which survey respondents said needed the most attention were the county’s traffic congestion, public transit and road improvements.
The study’s methodology involved randomly polling 800 residents: 200 from each of the four areas surveyed: North, South and mid-Pinellas, as well as the beach region. The poll had a 95 percent confidence level.
The PowerPoint presentation of the survey is available at pinellascounty.org.