Local governments across the United States, and of all sizes, have been experiencing rapid shifts in priorities and work as a result of COVID-19. This survey was designed to better understand how local government work and public service delivery will look different in the future.
385 local government officials and staff shared their perspectives on the impacts of COVID-19 on public service delivery.
While 76 percent of respondents represented municipalities, insights were also provided by county employees, state officials, utility executives, tribal nation representatives, and special district staff.
Uniquely, this survey captured the perceptions of local government leaders from small and midsize communities – a group that is underrepresented in public discussions, but very representative of most communities across the country.
Importantly, insights were provided by individuals from a wide range of roles within local government.
Respondents included mayors, city managers, planners, fire chiefs, communications directors, and chief innovation officers. To better understand the data, in some places this report groups individuals into functional roles:
28% External: This group includes individuals who regularly engage with residents through their work in Communications, Economic Development, Emergency Response, Library, Parks & Recreation, Police, Fire-Rescue, and Courts.
25% Leadership: This group includes individuals who are responsible for overall local government management, including City Managers, Town Administrators along with Elected and Appointed Officials.
21% Internal: This group includes individuals who are responsible for making sure the local government itself runs smoothly through their work in Finance, Human Resources, IT & Innovation, Performance Departments.
15% Assets: This group includes individuals who manage and maintain city assets through their work in Environmental Services & Waste, Public Works, Transportation & Water Departments.
12% Development: This group includes individuals who are responsible for what the city will look like in the future through their work in Development and Planning.