Almost all Hamilton residents are satisfied with the quality of life in town but say it is an expensive place to live.
That’s all according to a survey of residents conducted last winter.
The Town Clerk, , Parks and Recreation Department and Town Manager all satisfied 85 percent or more of the respondents.
Users of the Community Development, Engineering and Information Technology departments had the lowest level of satisfaction – although few survey respondents had contact with those departments. Many respondents also said they aren’t happy with the condition of streets and sidewalks but almost off the respondents said that major roads are passable during or shortly after a major snowstorm.
Just more than half of the respondents said they were satisfied or very satisfied with elected town officials, while nearly three quarters of respondents were satisfied or very satisfied with appointed officials.
Specifically, residents are most happy with the parks and open space and trash collection and generally approve of the appearance of the downtown area as well as the neighborhoods.
The services, cleanliness and resources at the also received strong marks.
Town Manager Michael Lombardo released the results this week.
“Overall we are pleased with the results of the survey and are beginning to look at what the data may be telling us,” Lombardo said.
The survey was conducted the New England States Performance Measurement Project during the winter. A total of 446 residents were invited by postcard to participate in the online survey and 151 residents completed it. Hamilton’s population is 7,758, according to the 2010 U.S. Census.
Very few newcomers filled out the survey – 80 percent have lived in Hamilton for longer than 11 years.
A summary of the findings, as well as a complete breakdown of the answers – question by question – are attached to this story as a PDF. (Remember to use the "fullscreen" and "+" buttons to enlarge the documents to make it large enough to read.)
In some cases, 100 percent of the respondents said they were happy with the service they received. Everyone who responded to the survey – and had a dealing with an emergency responder - said they were pleased with the response time of both the Fire Department and Police Department, quality of service provided by the Fire Department and also completely satisfied by the person who took their 911 call.
And while a majority of respondents did not have children under 18 living at home, more than three quarters had children in the public schools at one time. A significant percentage of respondents said they said were satisfied with the quality of the teachers and class sizes but were less satisfied with district and school administrators as well as the quality of education received for the amount of taxes paid.
Overall, most respondents said they were satisfied or very satisfied with Hamilton as a place to raise children. But Hamilton isn’t the best place for retirees – less than half of respondents were satisfied or very satisfied with Hamilton as a place to retire.
The survey also found that downtown Hamilton could , a bookstore and a family dining option.