John Mack - Newtown Supervisor
How Do Newtown Residents Rate Township Services?

How Do Newtown Residents Rate Township Services?

Newtown Township hired Econsult Solutions Inc. [ESI] for $69,450, half of which is being covered with a grant from the state Department of Economic and Community Development, to develop a five-year financial plan (read “Newtown Township To Develop a 5-Year Financial Plan”). Steve Wray and other company officials presented findings from its preliminary report during a recent virtual meeting with township supervisors (read a summary of those findsing here).

About the Survey Respondents

545 responses were collected.

Almost two-thirds of survey respondents are women and over 70% have lived in Newtown Township for over ten years. Nearly two-thirds (72%) are 45 years old or older. Half report that their annual household income is over $100,000 and 75% have a bachelors or higher education degree. Only 18% work in Newtown.

Rating of Services

Question 8 of the survey asked respondents to rate several services as Excellent, Good, Fair, or Poor. Responses weighted using scale of 1 to 4, with 1 being “poor” and 4 being “excellent.” The weighted average results are shown in the following figure.

Public Works services – snow removal, street cleaning, street lighting, and especially street/highway maintenance – are among the lowest rated services provided by the Township, whereas Fire and Police services are top rated.

Residents have often complained about the poorly-maintained 
Stoopville Road islands (see comment below).
What Services Need Improving?

Question 9 of that survey asked: “Rate the top two services the Township should focus on improving.” The following chart shows that overwhelmingly (70%), citizens want improvements to streets and highways. Meanwhile, only 19% chose "Police" and 6% chose "Fire."

Well maintained roads figure very large when considering "quality of life issues" as well as bringing new business to Newtown. Given this and the above survey results, it is a mystery to me why ESI did not recommend that Newtown hire more Public Works department personnel to improve services.

Meanwhile, according to the survey nearly 80% of 553 respondents rated the level of police presence Good (42%) to Excellent (37%). In addition, 75% said that the ability of police to prevent crime was Good (38%) to Excellent (37%). As for Fire Department responsiveness, respondents gave a 72% Good (26%) to Excellent (46%) rating. ESI recommended hiring 5 new firefights are 3 new police officers even though survey respondents seem very satisfied with these services.

Some Comments on Services

The following comments were from residents who rated road maintenance as "Poor."

FOR THE TAXES WE PAY, OUR ROADS SHOULD BE MAINTAINED BETTER [a resident who has lived in Newtown over 10 years].

The weeds growing on the medians are an eyesore every year.. It really makes Newtown look trashy. Would not take much to pull weeds or spray. Snowplowing is the worst. The only time it gets better is when you drive out of Newtown into Northampton. When they ploy my street, they only come down one side. Turning lanes are not done [a resident who has lived in Newtown over 10 years].

The services for filling in potholes are not timely [a resident who has lived in Newtown 4-6 years].

The roads in some of the developments are in terrible condition. After much complaining some work was started on sealing cracks in Rosefield but they never came back to finish the work. It looks awful and is a danger for cars and cyclists [a resident who has lived in Newtown over 10 years].

Road repair is important...have seen the same pot holes forever and on our neighborhood in Newtown grant we called about major issues causing our children injury in our cul-de-sac...we have not ret a response back since Feb. [a resident who has lived in Newtown 4-6 years].

The public works department does not do a good job with being a liason with the state roads. Stoopville Road the medians are horrible never cut weeds all over . We have to complain constantly for the township to maintain them before someone gets hurt because the can not see approaching traffic [a resident who has lived in Newtown over 10 years].

The following comments were from residents who rated street cleaning as "Poor."

If you don’t plan on street sweeping then sell the equipment and use the money on some other service besides cutting grass [a resident who has lived in Newtown over 10 years].

The roads are in terrible shape. I can’t remember the last time the streets were swept [a resident who has lived in Newtown over 10 years].

Posted on 30 Aug 2020, 01:44 - Category: Survey Results

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The opinions expressed here are solely those of John Mack and do not represent the opinions of any other person or entity.
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