newsaugusta county survey residents satisfied with life support cameras for sheriffs deputies

Augusta County survey: Residents satisfied with life, support cameras for deputies

Augusta County community surveyA community survey of Augusta County shows 81 percent of respondents are satisfied with their quality of life. However, the survey also showed some things the County could work on – including the need for more jobs that pay a living wage. The survey also showed strong support for providing body and dash cameras for sheriff’s deputies.

Survey results were presented at Wednesday night’s Board of Supervisors meeting. The survey measured how satisfied residents are with their community and with government services.

Data was collected from 801 respondents from July through December 2022 through social media, mobile apps, local websites and survey panels.

“If you were like me, and you saw this score, you would think it’s low because a high school grading scale is very different,” said Jennifer Whetzel, speaking on behalf of the County Administrator’s office. “But we were told that this is a very good grade.”

Whetzel reported that overall satisfaction in Augusta County was 12 percent higher than cohorts in localities within South Carolina, Virginia and North Carolina.

The score was calculated grading 16 characteristics of the County including affordable housing, quality of life, how likely you would be to recommend Augusta County as a place to live, how likely you are to stay in Augusta County, jobs that pay a living wage and access to health care, education and public safety.

Whetzel said that residents said they loved the mountains and beauty of the area. The survey also showed concerns about internet services, taxes and roads.

Among the survey findings were:

  • 67 percent of residents are satisfied with the quality of the library system
  • 65 percent of respondents completely support providing body cameras and dash cameras for the county sheriff’s deputies
  • 47 percent of respondents completely support using county taxes to fund body cameras and dash cameras
  • 3 percent of residents are satisfied with the availability of jobs that pay a living wage

The survey is available online for community members to continue to offer input.

“I want to encourage folks to comment on surveys and things like that, because that’s how we gain our information on how some things that we look at, pertaining to the County, on setting a lot of things up,” said Michael Shull, Chairman of the Board of Supervisors, at last night’s meeting.

“We will be pushing it out to the public just overall so that they have more easily access for it,” said Whetzel.

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Crystal Graham

Crystal Graham

Crystal Abbe Graham is the regional editor of Augusta Free Press. A 1999 graduate of Virginia Tech, she has worked as a reporter and editor for several Virginia publications, written a book, and garnered more than a dozen Virginia Press Association awards for writing and graphic design. She was the co-host of "Viewpoints," a weekly TV news show, and co-host of Virginia Tonight, a nightly TV news show. Her work on "Virginia Tonight" earned her a national Telly award for excellence in television.

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