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Posted on: January 10, 2023

City Recognized with Leading the Way Award

Teenage boy and girl smiling and standing next to a creek at a park

City leaders were notified Monday, January 9, 2023, that the City of Pelham is one of the 2022 recipients of the ETC Institute's Leading the Way Award.

The award was created to recognize local governments for outstanding achievement in the delivery of services to residents. Recipients of the award rank in the top ten percent of all local governments in the United States with regard to their composite performance in the three core areas that are assessed on ETC lnstitute's DirectionFinder® Survey:

  • Satisfaction with the overall quality of services
  • Satisfaction with customer service provided by employees
  • Satisfaction with the value residents think they receive for local taxes and fees.

"A maximum of 100 points are awarded in each of these areas based on the results of the survey. In order to rank in the top 10% of all cities, a city must have received a composite score of 210 or more, which means the city scored an average of at least 70 points in all three areas," ETC Institute CEO Christopher Tatham explained in a letter to City Manager Gretchen DiFante. "The threshold of 210 was established using the results of surveys from more than 400 communities that have participated in ETC lnstitute's DirectionFinder® Survey over the past two years. The City of Pelham's composite rating was 210, which was 34 points above the average composite score of 176 for all cities in the United States."

"On behalf of all our city employees, it is an honor to serve the citizens in Pelham, where they are involved in priority-setting and engaged with the City," said City Manager DiFante. "When the City Council decided to conduct the first citizen survey, we knew we wanted a vendor partner that would purposefully gather feedback from a group representative of our city's demographics. The ETC Institute, the country's leader in this area, came highly recommended. I have had the opportunity to work in the private, non-profit, and public sectors, and I can say with confidence that the City of Pelham's employees are the hardest-working, most dedicated group of employees with whom I've had the privilege to serve."

City Council President Maurice Mercer added, "I'm thrilled the City of Pelham is recognized for excellence in overall quality of services provided by our city employees. Our employees give 110% daily and are passionate about their jobs, so it's no surprise residents are very satisfied with the customer service they receive."

Since 1999, ETC lnstitute's DirectionFinder® Survey has been administered to nearly two million residents in all 50 states. Although ETC Institute has provided benchmarking data that has allowed communities to compare their results with other communities for many years, ETC Institute did not formally recognize the top performers until 2020. 

The 2022 Citizen Satisfaction Survey was the first, and it will be conducted at regular intervals and be a regular part of the City's planning processes. Information collected will help city leaders measure improvements or where attention may be needed. We value citizen engagement and intend to use survey results to make important long-range planning and investment decisions. Read the 2022 Citizen Satisfaction Survey Results.

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