OAKLEY -- Residents here are giving the city a "B" for the level of service it's delivering.
The results of a survey Oakley released this week show that a large majority are happy with city services and how employees are delivering them.
The city in January mailed a questionnaire to 500 addresses asking residents to assess its performance.
The poll, the fourth of its kind that Oakley has done since 2008, generated 132 replies.
Although they represent a tiny sliver of the city's 35,000-plus residents, they're still statistically meaningful because recipients were chosen strictly at random, said Nancy Marquez-Suarez, assistant to the city manager.
"That's the most important (aspect) to doing a survey," she said.
The 25 questions touched on topics ranging from where residents get their news about city activities to their views on immigrants and whether they think Oakley is a safe place to live.
Most respondents were happy with City Hall's efforts to communicate with the public, although its 83 percent approval rating in this category was slightly lower than that two years ago.
Conversely, 82 percent rated Oakley as a good or excellent place to live compared with 80 percent in 2012.
Even though the city grew to 35,432 over the decade leading up to the 2010 U.S. Census -- a 38 percent increase -- a significant majority of people considered Oakley's small size its top selling point.
The most notable change for the worse was residents' perception of the crime rate: After a steady four-year climb, the percentage of those who reported they feel safe plummeted from 78 percent to 51 percent.
Marquez-Suarez attributes the abrupt loss of confidence to bad timing: There was a homicide in Oakley -- the first in 15 months -- the day before the survey went out, and although police nabbed the suspect almost immediately "it was still so fresh in people's minds," she said.
Yet it was streets -- not other hot-button topics such as police, code enforcement or economic development -- that topped the list of services and amenities residents thought needed more of the city's time and money.
Even so, 92 percent indicated that they are either somewhat or very satisfied with the job the city's doing providing them.
Public opinion of how politely and effectively city employees deliver service has shown a steady improvement over the past six years, reaching the 80 percent mark in the most recent poll.
The full survey will be available on the city's website by the end of next week.
Contact Rowena Coetsee at 925-779-7141. Follow her at Twitter.com/RowenaCoetsee