The community's Security force and its gate operations got high grades in a Community Services District survey, but the survey says Murietans aren't sure about higher taxes to pay for more officers and they don't support expanding Security's powers.
The results, which will be presented to the CSD board at its meeting 5 p.m. Wednesday, are built on 556 surveys returned by CSD ratepayers. The survey, which focused on Security operations, was included in bills sent to customers late last year.
The survey was put together by neighbor volunteers Betty Ferraro, Wilbur Haines and Jack Tavolario.
The following results are taken from the board packet, which is prepared in advance of the monthly meeting.
Two questions keyed on satisfaction with the way Security does business:
How generally satisfied are you with Security gate operations?
- Highly satisfied: 37.6 percent
- Somewhat satisfied: 31.5 percent
- Not sure: 3.6 percent
- Somewhat dissatisfied: 5.4 percent
- Dissatisfied: 1.6 percent
- Did not respond: 20.3 percent
How generally satisfied are you with the way Security serves and protects our community?
- Highly satisfied: 31.1 percent
- Somewhat satisfied: 32.0 percent
- Not sure: 5.2 percent
- Somewhat dissatisfied: 8.8 percent
- Dissatisfied: 3.6 percent
- Did not respond: 19.2 percent
The questions went unanswered by a substantial number of participants -- a problem that was common on the second page of the two-page survey -- so Security's positive grades can be seen as even higher, topping 75 percent of those who expressed any opinion at all.
Another question asked about increasing taxes to allow a greater Security presence. The positive and negative responses were virtually an even split.
Expanding Security's patrol presence would require an increase in security taxes. Please tell us whether you would agree or disagree with increasing security taxes to hire additional patrol officers and have more patrol units on the streets.
- Strongly agree: 18 percent
- Somewhat agree: 15.6 percent
- Not sure: 12.6 percent
- Somewhat disagree: 8.5 percent
- Disagree: 26.1 percent
- Did not choose: 19.2 percent
The idea of expanding Security's powers, which has circulated for years, got a response on the negative side of the line in two questions. The question of expanding the force's peace officer status carried the added dimension of a tax increase to bring it about.
Expanding CSD Security's powers to make arrests and stop vehicles for traffic violations would require an increase in security taxes. Please tell us whether you agree or disagree with raising security taxes to expand the peace officer status of Security officers.
- Strongly agree: 17.6 percent
- Somewhat agree: 14.2 percent
- Not sure: 9.0 percent
- Somewhat disagree: 9.5 percent
- Disagree: 31.5 percent
- Did not choose: 18.2 percent
Would you prefer to have traffic court tickets, with DMV and insurance consequences, written on private streets? (A county ordinance would be required to enable Vehicle Code charges in traffic court.)
- Strongly agree: 13.8 percent
- Somewhat agree: 10.6 percent
- Not sure: 11.0 percent
- Somewhat disagree: 7.0 percent
- Disagree: 38.5 percent
- Did not choose: 19.1 percent
The survey offered participants a chance to choose the areas where Security should focus and the areas where it doesn't need to. From among 18 categories of safety, ordinance enforcement and law-enforcement assistance, these were the top three ranked as "very" or "somewhat" important:
- Drug use in common areas: 70.0 percent
- Drunken driving: 68.5 percent
- Drunk and disorderly: 68.3 percent
And these three were at the bottom, ranked as "slightly" or "not" important by these percentages:
- Skateboard ordinance enforcement: 30.4 percent
- Wildlife problems: 27.5 percent
- Business security checks: 20.5 percent
Of 10 choices dealing with enforcement of RMA compliance issues, these were the top three rated "very" or "somewhat" important:
- Gate operation/screening visitors: 70.3 percent
- Unauthorized persons using parks: 56.5 percent
- "Quiet hour" noise complaints: 51.8 percent
The bottom three, rated "slightly" or "not" important by these percentages, were:
- Driveway parking: 37.9 percent
- Open garage doors: 37.2 percent
- Motor homes staying over 24 hours: 32.5 percent
You can see the full report to the board here, in pages 5-15 of the board packet.