The city has released its third annual Performance Scorecard, which evaluates the city’s delivery of core services to city residents, including public safety, environmental health, transportation, community and economic development, and recreation services.
Citizens gave the city an overall grade of B-plus, the same as last year. Of the 11 departments that were individually graded, citizens gave improved grades to five departments and a lower grade to one.
The Performance Score includes information about the Police, Fire, Transportation, Neighborhood Services, Recreation and Parks, Sanitation and Public Assembly Facilities departments, the Utilities, Streets, Stormwater Management and Inspections divisions and the Winston-Salem Transit Authority.
It measures results against established performance goals, includes information about each department’s workload and productivity, and, when applicable, compares performance and costs with Raleigh, Durham, Greensboro and Charlotte. The report also includes results for the three previous fiscal years and data from a telephone survey of citizens conducted in October 2008.
Findings in the report include:
- Four departments improved their grades to B-plus from B or B-minus: Utilities, Transportation, Inspections and the Winston-Salem Transit Authority. Streets improved to a B from a B-minus. Sanitation dropped to a B-plus from an A-minus.
- The Fire Department improved in all six measures of fire prevention and fire suppression and reduced its average response time to a fire or medical call to four minutes and seven seconds - just short of its goal of responding to calls within four minutes.
- The Police Department improved in three of four measures. Its average response time to priority calls dropped to four minutes and 3 seconds, just over its goal of four minutes, but well within the national standard of six minutes.
- The Utilities Division met its goal of complying with 100 percent of federal and state drinking water standards.
- The Sanitation Department met its goal of missing less than one percent of garbage collections every month but fell well short of its goal of completing leaf-collection routes on time because the leaves were slow to drop last year.
- The Streets Division exceeded its goal of repairing 80 percent of reported potholes within 24 hours, but only 62 percent of city streets met the goal for pavement condition.
- The Stormwater Management Division met its goal of responding to all illicit discharge complaints within 24 hours.
- The Transportation Department responded in an average of 24 minutes to reports of a traffic signal malfunction, well under its goal of 30 minutes.
In a cover letter forwarding the report to Mayor Allen Joines and the City Council, City Manager Lee Garrity said that department heads will develop strategies to improve services that did not receive an "A." "Despite budget constraints imposed by the economic recession," Garrity said, "the level of citizen satisfaction has remained at a B-plus overall and most performance indicators have been maintained at expected levels of achievement."
The complete Performance Scorecard, along with the full results of the Citizens Satisfaction Survey conducted in October 2008, is posted online.