Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Dr. Chamard presents data from Mat-Su Survey to Mat-Su Assembly and Planning Commission

Dr. Sharon Chamard, Justice faculty, presented information about data collection, survey contents, and the organization of the final report of the annual Matanuska-Susitna Borough Community Survey 2012 and Trends 2008–2012: A Sourcebook of Community Attitudes to the joint meeting of the Mat-Su Borough Assembly and Planning Commission on March 26. The report was originally released in January 2013.

The Matanuska-Susitna Borough Community Survey, conducted annually beginning in 2006, is a cooperative research effort between the Justice Center and the Matanuska-Susitna Borough to collect information about satisfaction with Borough services, household aspirations, and household composition. These data are used by Borough decision-makers to prioritize projects, improve services, and better plan for the future growth of the Mat-Su Borough.

The 2012 study was conducted by Dr. Sharon Chamard, Justice faculty, who also was the principal investigator for the 2008, 2009, 2010, and 2011 Mat-Su Surveys. Heather MacAlpine, Justice B.A. Cum Laude ’12, assisted with data collection, entry, and analysis for the 2011 and 2012 surveys.

The survey asks Mat-Su Borough residents to evaluate the quality of Borough services, provide opinions about Borough decision-making, and sum up their perceptions about a range of issues relevant to the present and future of the Mat-Su community. The 2012 survey was distributed to 1,965 adult heads-of-household in the Mat-Su Borough in the late summer and fall of 2012; a total of 845 completed surveys were returned, for a response rate of  43%.

This sourcebook presents both the results from the 2012 survey and trends from 2008-2012 in five major areas: (1) evaluation of current borough services; (2) use of borough facilities; (3) life in Mat-Su neighborhoods; (4) local government access, policies, and practices; and (5) respondent background information. Additionally, findings from a derived importance-performance analysis of the survey data are presented, as is a compilation of respondent comments.

Information on past Mat-Su surveys and other community surveys in Alaska is available on the Justice Center website.