Crime, Drugs, Gang Violence and Local Economy Top Community Concerns

A recently commissioned independent survey shows Modesto residents are concerned about jobs and the local economy and public safety issues including crime, gangs and drugs. The survey, conducted May 6 through May 8 by the highly respected opinion research firm of Fairbank, Maslin, Maullin, Metz & Associates was developed to provide the City with community feedback regarding quality of life issues, financial management, attitudes toward city services — and potential revenue options.

The survey showed that respondents valued Modesto’s quality of life, but are also concerned about crime, drugs, gangs and youth violence. Three out of four respondents felt that additional funds are needed to provide essential services.

“Additional funds are needed to maintain and improve our overall quality of life and move the City forward,” said Modesto City Manager Greg Nyhoff. “We need to address important community priorities including maintaining public safety, repairing deteriorating city streets, creating more quality jobs and attracting new businesses to Modesto.”

“I am also extremely pleased that the survey also found that constituents who had occasion to directly contact a city staffer for assistance, found that interaction to be satisfying. We just need more resources to ensure that all constituents who need help, receive it,” Nyhoff added.

The survey also showed that respondents viewed maintaining 911 emergency response times, expanding gang crime prevention services, making neighborhoods safer, investigating and preventing property-related crimes like theft and burglary, expanding programs to attract business to Modesto, increasing the number of police officers patrolling City streets, and expanding after school programs for at-risk youth as important community priorities.

The survey also gauged interest in potential funding options. Respondents were interested in both a one-cent general purpose measure and a half-cent special purpose public safety measure at levels that exceed the threshold required for passage.