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Survey: Residents see drop in quality of life

The Shafter City Council listened to a presentation of a citywide survey that was given to Shafter residents. This survey included how residents rated their quality of life, job growth, state of their neighborhoods and housing developments.

Most residents, when asked what their satisfaction rating of their quality of life, answered "good or excellent." The 68% who answered positively was a 7% drop compared to the survey done in 2021. As far as how residents viewed their quality of neighborhoods, 67% viewed their neighborhoods as good or excellent, which was another drop in the survey. In 2021, the number was 76% viewing neighborhoods as good or excellent.

As to job growth, 34% of respondents were satisfied, with 23% dissatisfied. The pollsters at Cal State Bakersfield said that the city might need to address this issue, as well as the housing development issue, with 37% as satisfied and 21% dissatisfied.

Satisfaction with the Police Department was up 6%, with 65% of residents satisfied with the performance of the department and 11% dissatisfied. Satisfaction with quality of fire and emergency services was one of the highest in the survey, with 73% of the residents satisfied with those services.

The poll takers said that the city's emphasis should be focused on quality of maintenance of city streets, and with the concerns of residents not satisfied with the value that they get from their tax dollars. Thirty-four percent of residents said that they were dissatisfied in this category.

Overall, the quality of life in Shafter is still in the good and excellent range, but with drop in that percentage of seven points.

As far as the performance of city officials and the city manager, 24% were satisfied with their performance, with 58% neutral. The same was said for the performance of the city manager. There was a 56% neutral on this issue, with 26% satisfied.

The results showed that the community was overall satisfied with quality of life, but improvements may be in order when it comes to the maintenance of streets, as well as the value that the residents get for their tax dollars, the Cal State Bakersfield evaluators said.

The council also recognized several groups at the meeting. The seventh and eighth grade girls basketball teams from Richland Junior High were honored for their championship seasons. Both teams went undefeated. The members of the teams were Evie Acosta, Amayah Escalera, Desteny Flores, Baiya Hanner, Kiara Medina, Natalie Navarro, Jordan Perez, Bianca Soto and Khloe Zavala. The members of the eighth grade team were Julissa Acosta, Aleah Barajas, Ailyah Escalera, Genesis Escalera, Elizabeth Flores, Lissbet Flores, Priscilla Gurrola, Allison Jimenez and Alexia Martinez.

The teams were congratulated and presented with individual certificates for their accomplishments.

There was also a presentation to Shafter's Distinguished Young Woman Emily McGuire. McGuire was named Shafter's DYW, winning the talent, fitness, self-expression and spirit awards. McGuire will go on to represent Shafter in the California DYW program held in Bakersfield in June.


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