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Posted: 10/03/12

Survey: Residents happy
to be in Macomb County

by CHRIS GRAY
Observer Staff Writer
      A recent survey has revealed Macomb County residents have expressed a fondness for their home.
       The results of the 2012 Macomb Community Climate Survey the Macomb County Planning and Economic Development reveals residents enjoy the quality of life they receive in their area but are concerned about schools.
       A total of 1,007 residents were surveyed via the Internet between May and July. Of them, 892 answered every question.
       Of those surveyed, 26.2 percent said the county's best asset was the quality of life, followed by the quality of schools and public safety.
       County Executive Mark Hackel said the quality of life is due to the variety of aspects the county offers, such as metroparks, orchards, coastline and trails.
       "Knowing that is an important aspect, to me that's going to be important to continue working in that direction to make it better than we already have," Hackel said.
       Although residents were happy with schools, they also indicated the area needing the most improvement was the county's schools. The category received 21 percent of the responses, and 286 indicated schools were getting slightly worse.
       Hackel said the county has a great educational system through the Intermediate School District and called it "sad" that people wanted to challenge teachers and what they are paid.
       "We need to keep focused on making sure there is family support for these kids when it comes to early childhood or doing homework or extracurricular activities," he said. "There is a little more work we need to do as a society as opposed to blaming the system or the education system."
       Public safety was third in being a positive asset and needing improvement. Hackel said he has always had an interest in safety, especially having been involved with the Macomb County Sheriff's Office as sheriff.
       "Even now as county executive, maintaining the feeling and perception of reality that Macomb County is a safe place to live is important," he said.
       In terms of overall satisfaction, 217 answered they were "very happy" in Macomb County, while 406 answered they were "happy." A total of 43 answered "unhappy" and 16 "very unhappy."
       Four out of five Macomb County residents (81.5 percent) reported they planned to stay in the county for the next five years. Only 94 said they would move from the county, while 56 indicated they would leave Michigan.
       Of them, the largest age group wanting to stay in the county ranges from 50 to 64, followed by ages 34-49. Residents who have lived in the county for one to three years were among the top groups to say they have no plans to leave.
       "We're still the fastest growing county out of all 83 counties in the state," Hackel said.
       He added that although the county has some of the lowest taxes in the area, the survey shows it isn't the main motivator for living in the county.
       "People choose low taxes, but it's not the reason people choose to move where they want to move," he said.
       A total of 32 residents surveyed were from Washington Township, 15 from Bruce Township, 10 from Ray Township and four from Romeo.


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