Sarasota County

Client: Sarasota County
Industry: Economic Development/Government


Sarasota County requires feedback from a representative sampling of its residents to get an annual “pulse” regarding how well the organization is fulfilling its mission—to provide and enhance quality programs, services, and facilities that reflect the goals of the community while always promoting health, safety, public welfare and quality of life for citizens.


Sarasota County conducted a statistically valid survey of its residents annually for nearly three decades. Historically, Dr. MacManus, a Political Science Professor at the University of South Florida, was the project lead but retired in Spring 2018. In 2018, HCP Associates joined the partnership with USF and Sarasota County to carry out the research capabilities.

The Sarasota County Citizen Opinion Survey gives citizens a voice in the county policy choices that impact their lives. Providing quantifiable data for how specific topics affect citizen quality of life in Sarasota County is of great value to the area’s elected, appointed, and staff leaders. The survey enables residents to provide their views on Sarasota County’s efficiency and effectiveness of a wide array of public services and policies and acts as a satisfaction gauge for county services.

To field the citizen survey, Sarasota County and the Florida Institute of Government engaged HCP Associates to help with data collection, analysis, and reporting of its annual Citizen Opinion Survey.

In 2020, survey enhancements were introduced. This included minor edits to the questionnaire, featuring essential trending questions every year, and categorizing the rest into themes to rotate each year. The results of the study examine quality of life in Sarasota County, the greatest stressors on a resident’s household, trust in county government, and more.

HCP Associates presents the findings of the study each year to the Sarasota County Board of County Commissioners. The results are presented alongside Dr. Joshua Scacco, an Associate Professor in the Department of Communication, and two University of South Florida students. HCP Associates enjoys its work with the professor and the opportunity to provide current students with applied research experience. The county strives to maintain a pulse on its citizens’ sentiments, and the quantifiable public opinion data can be of great use to county leaders.

Sarasota County Presentation:

Sarasota County Report: