City performance improving in key areas

Quarterly reviews shifting to emphasize outcomes

Brian Coddington, Communications Director, 509.625.6740

Monday, February 24, 2014 at 1:14 p.m.

A quarterly review of the City's key performance indicators shows improvement in outcomes in several priority areas, including public safety, customer service delivery, connection to resources and resource management.

Notably, violent crime was down 8.5 percent for the year. Residential burglary also declined last year. Fire and emergency medical response times also continued to exceed performance standards citywide, as did overall satisfaction with the City's customer service resources.

“We are driving every day toward better service delivery and improved outcomes,” said Mayor David Condon. “We made great strides last year and are well-prepared to continue the important work we've aligned to citizen priorities.”

Performance measures are reviewed and published quarterly. Evaluations are increasingly emphasizing outcomes over strictly operational measures.

A look at the data shows the City is:

Driving down crime

  • Violent crime incidents were down 8.5 percent overall for the year, including:
  • Homicides down 30 percent
  • Robbery of a person down 10 percent
  • Aggravated assault non-domestic violence down 3.5 percent
  • Aggravated assault domestic violence down 4 percent
  • Residential burglary down 7 percent for the year

Improving customer service

  • Improved handling of citizen inquiries, with a high level of satisfaction among MySpokane (100 percent) users during the fourth quarter
  • Reduced time to resolve code enforcement cases, achieving the goal of 30 days or sooner 70 percent of the time during the last six months of the year

Quickly getting help to people who need it

  • Exceeded structure fire (94.4 percent in 8 minutes, 30 seconds or less) and non-life-threatening medical incident (90.2 percent in 8:30) response time targets
  • Exceeded call dispatch time goals (96.2 percent in 60 seconds or less) while piloting alternative response approaches to non-emergency calls

Connecting people to services that make a difference

  • Connected homeless people to service and resources that lead to stable housing and increased financial stability 88 percent of the time

Proactively maintaining the city's assets

  • Tested water quality more proactively and discharged less, finishing the year without exceeding the limit of pollutants entering the river in any quarter
  • Better ensured the cleanliness and vitality of the Spokane River, reducing the number of combined sewer overflow events

Even with the progress, there is still work to be done, Condon pointed out.

Permitting times are one such example. Short-route permit times have fallen to an average of 14 days (goal of 10 days) and full-route times have dropped to an average of 37 days (goal of 30 days), even as volumes rose significantly. Projects totaling $538 million, including nearly $300 million in private projects, were permitted last year.