Earlier this month, Tempe City Council met with Chris Tatham, executive vice president of ETC Institute, to discuss the recent findings of a survey put out to the people of Tempe.
The survey, which was distributed evenly across Tempe’s eight municipal character areas, displayed the communities’ satisfaction with the services provided by the city.
According to the 2021 importance-satisfaction rating, provided by the survey, the condition of city streets and sidewalks was the third most important issue within the community, the survey provides it was one of the most dissatisfying services, when ranked on a one-through-five scale, it averaged at 57% satisfaction.
People chose their top three priorities for the next year and the third most common answer, with one out of four people listing it as an issue, was the condition of city streets and sidewalks.
Sixty percent of respondents said their home has an alley. One out of every three people on the survey were dissatisfied with the condition of their alleyways.
Along with this, about one out of four people were dissatisfied with the city’s efforts to enforce property maintenance and upkeep. The most consistent concern amongst people was the city’s trash collection, along with their enforcement of trash clean-up.
At the November meeting, Tempe City Mayor Corey Woods said, “Not just bulk trash pickup... but the condition of alleys… I think those two things are somewhat connected.”
Councilmember Jennifer Adams, agrees the issues are worth looking into.
“I’ve gotten a lot of complaints about the bulk trash being delayed, I want to make sure we keep an eye on that,” she said. “I’m very interested in it... and I want to know what our game plan is for resolving this issue.”
In response to Councilmember Adam’s concerns over alleyways and trash collection, Municipal Utilities Director, Terrance Piekarz confirms city officials are aware of the feedback and working toward solutions.
“We’re very aware of the community’s desires and feedback regarding alleyway maintenance and also bulk trash collection… We made several organizational changes, so we’ve actually been quite ahead in uncontained collections for a few months now, and we just recently finished a couple of alley maintenance pilot program exercises,” furthermore, he said, “We’re cognizant of our community’s feelings about those topics and how important they are to them.”
Overall, Piekarz noted that the biggest challenge facing bulk trash collection is employee retention.
Editor’s note: Mr. Sutter is a journalism student at the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism at Arizona State University
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