Monday, February 28, 2011

Citizen survey puts Rolla at top for customer service

A special thanks are in order for all of the City of Rolla residents who participated in the most recent Direction Finder citizen attitude telephone survey conducted during the month of January by ETC Institute, one of the nation’s leading community-based market research firms based in Olathe, Kansas. ETC has conducted research projects for clients in 46 states, and has conducted five other citizen surveys for the City of Rolla about every two years for the past several years.

I’m more than pleased to announce that an exceptionally good report was given at Monday’s City Council meeting by ETC Institute’s Vice President, Chris Tatham who gave an overview of the results of the citizen attitude survey conducted. About 1,200 residents were contacted, which provided a statistically valid random-sample survey of 400 responses. 
The purpose of the survey was to assess citizen satisfaction with the delivery of major city services. Results from the survey help City Administration and the City Council to make decisions regarding budgeting, planning, goal setting and bench marking. Most importantly, the survey gives City Administration and Council additional direction to help set community priorities regarding how tax dollars can be spent wisely. 
Tatham, who referred to Rolla as a model city, reported that the City of Rolla is setting the standard among other cities across not only the state of Missouri, and the Midwest, but the entire country! The survey shows that the public’s satisfaction with most City services has increased (in 50 of 55 areas), and that the City has what he described as “good brand equity,” which means the City has great name recognition and a very good image – and moreover that citizens feel good about their community. 
While many categories surveyed such as Police and Fire, Parks and Recreation, Environmental Services, etc. received extremely high ratings - well above ratings for other cities surveyed - Rolla scored 34% above the national average in the category of Customer Service. In fact, of all the cities and communities surveyed in the Kansas and Missouri region, Rolla was the highest ranked community in Customer Service. That is a tremendous reflection on the quality of services all of our departments and employees are providing our residents. To review the report in its entirety, click here. Hard copies of the survey results are also available in the City Administration Department located at Rolla City Hall (3rd Floor), 901 N. Elm Street. 
In closing, I’d like to encourage everyone to attend the 103rd Annual St. Pat’s Parade on Saturday, March 12 at 11 a.m. on Pine Street in downtown Rolla. This year the City of Rolla will be participating in the parade with a Sesquicentennial float to celebrate Rolla’s Sesquicentennial Anniversary (150th years of incorporation on Jan. 25, 1861) and to promote Rolla’s Sesquicentennial Celebration on Saturday, June 4 in downtown Rolla. Several City employees will represent various City departments, including myself and City Administrator John Butz, who will carry a Rolla Sesquicentennial banner as the float makes its way down Pine Street through the throngs of parade goers. 
Immediately following the parade the 103rd Annual Best Ever St. Pat’s Concert will feature the band “Reel Big Fish,” at the Rolla Downtown Bandshell located at the corner of 9th and Oak Streets near the railroad tracks. The concert is free and open to the public, and food and drinks will be available for purchase. One unusual aspect of the St. Pat’s Parade is that the surface of Pine Street is actually painted green beginning at 6:30 a.m. the day of the parade. The St. Pat’s Street Painting Event, sponsored by the St. Pat’s Board, includes the volunteer services of several students from Missouri S&T that apply the water-based green paint with large mops and buckets so Pine Street will be properly painted shamrock green for the parade.

St. Pat’s Court will arrive at the bandshell in the City’s Downtown Festival Park on Wednesday, March 9 at 12-noon. The Court Arrival begins at 11 a.m. at the south end of Pine Street where they will proceed through the downtown area to the bandshell.The St. Pat’s Coronation and Knighting Ceremony will be held on Friday, March 11 at 9 p.m. in Leach Theatre, located in the Castleman Hall Performing Arts Center on the Missouri S&T Campus at the corner of 10th and Main Streets. 
The 103rd St. Patrick’s Grand Ball, sponsored by the Ladies of Coterie, will be held Saturday, March 12 at 5:30 p.m. in the Havener Center. The St. Pat’s Ball honors a great Rolla tradition with a delightful evening of dinner and dancing on the Missouri S&T Campus. To make your reservations to attend, visit
The tradition of St. Patrick’s Day has been celebrated in Rolla for over a century. St. Patrick, the patron saint of engineers, marked his first Rolla celebration in 1908 on what was then the Missouri School of Mines campus. Engineers rallied around St. Pat and began what is now one of the most noted and oldest St. Patrick’s Day celebrations in the nation. For more information regarding the St. Pat’s Parade and related events and festivities, please visit
Have a safe week, and don’t forget to wear your ‘green’ at the parade on Saturday, March 12 and on St. Patrick’s Day on Thursday, March 17.

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