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updated: 1/9/2013 2:39 PM

Jobs, traffic the top concerns in Algonquin survey

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The results of Algonquin's 2012 community survey confirmed what many people already knew -- that the village needs more places to work and should work to improve its traffic flow on the major streets.

But the inaugural survey also showed that most people are happy to call Algonquin home.

Tuesday night, Michael Kumbera, the assistant to the village manager, released the results of the 17-question survey to the village board.

The survey's goals were to seek community input on village programs and services, evaluate constituent services, educate the public about village programs and establish a baseline for surveys in the future. The document was mailed out to 1,500 randomly selected residents in early September and they had three weeks to turn it in. Of the 1,500 people who received the survey, 423 responded for a response rate of 28.2 percent.

It took so long for the results to come out because village staff members calculated the results only whenever they had spare time, Kumbera said.

When it came to quality of life in Algonquin, 93.3 percent of respondents said the village was a great place to live. Most people were also happy with the village parks, the public works department and public safety.

But just 28.5 percent of the people said Algonquin was a good place for employment opportunities. The margin of error was plus or minus 5 percent.

The number was even lower for ease of car travel in the village. For that question, 31.1 percent responded excellent or good. When it came to traffic flow on major streets, 19.5 percent of respondents said it was excellent or good.

On the upside, 95 percent of the respondents said they feel safe in their neighborhood during the day and 88 percent of them feel safe at night. And 78.4 percent of the respondents would recommend Algonquin as a good place to live.

Moreover, village employees received an 84.7 percent approval rating for their overall performance.

"Our goal as staff is until it's at 100 percent, we're going to still keep working at it," Village Manager William Ganek said. "We're taking it, as staff, very seriously."

The village hopes to conduct the survey annually and will use the results from the 2012 survey as benchmarks for the future and to continually evaluate programs and customer service.

Village President John Schmitt quipped that none of the questions asked about the village board's performance.

"That survey will be on April 9," Schmitt said, alluding to the spring municipal elections.

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