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Embargo: May 14, 2019 at 6 a.m. E.S.T.

May 14, 2019

Media Contact: Joanna Norris, Director

Department of Public Relations

(904) 620-2102

 

Methodology Results Contact: Dr. Michael Binder

Public Opinion Research Lab Director

(904) 620-2784

Press Release & Crosstabs (PDF) 

 

New UNF Poll Shows Jacksonville Beach Voters Calling for Referendum

Support Outweighs Opposition Regarding Fire Services Contracting to City of Jacksonville

 

The Public Opinion Research Lab at the University of North Florida has a new poll of registered voters in Jacksonville Beach that indicates majority support for the Jacksonville Beach City Council calling for a referendum about the proposed Fire Service Agreement between the City of Jacksonville and Jacksonville Beach. The survey also shows that support is greater than opposition regarding contracting out its fire services to the City of Jacksonville.

 

The poll shows that 61% of respondents believe that the Jacksonville Beach City Council should call for a binding referendum to approve the terms and conditions of the Fire Service Agreement, with 26% saying the City Council shouldn't call for a referendum. Respondents who didn't know or refused to answer regarding the referendum were at 13%. Among Democrats, support for a referendum is at 67%, with Republicans supporting at 58%.

 

"There is a lot of uncertainty that revolves around this agreement, especially on how the City of Jacksonville will comply contractually over time," said Andrew Hopkins, assistant director of the Public Opinion Research Lab at UNF. "Even though there isn't a majority push one way or the other on this issue, there is a majority of Jax Beach residents who would like to see a referendum."

 

Similarly, 46% indicate that they support the City of Jacksonville Beach contracting out its fire services to the City of Jacksonville. Forty-one percent oppose contracting out fire services, while 13% don't know/refused to answer. Support is somewhat evenly distributed among Democrats and Republicans, with 43% and 45% supporting, respectively. In terms of familiarity, 39% claim to not be familiar at all with the Fire Service Agreement, with 28% claiming to be slightly familiar, 24% moderately familiar, and 10% extremely familiar.

 

"Moving to a referendum may prolong this decision to November or March of next year, which could impact Jax Beach Fire Department negatively; however, the additional time may be just what residents need to become more familiar with this agreement," Hopkins said.

 

Crime is believed to be the most important problem facing Jacksonville Beach, according to 21% of respondents, followed by homelessness at 15%. Among Democrats and Republicans, crime is the most important problem at 21% and 20% respectively. Democrats' second most popular choice is the environment at 13%, while Republicans' second choice is still homelessness at 18%. The poll also asked respondents about short-term vacation rentals. Out of all the ordinances that the City of Jacksonville Beach has discussed adding to their regulations regarding short-term vacation rentals, the requirement to comply with all other City regulations, maximum occupancy limitations and off-street parking standards all garnered over 50% support (63%, 58%, and 56% respectively).

 

"It's time for the city to begin addressing short-term rentals, and I think it's safe to say that residents want to see increased regulations on these types of properties in Jacksonville Beach," said Hopkins. "Adding some of these proposed ordinances will help protect the health and safety of residents, as well as plan for growth."

Survey Results

What is the most important problem facing Jacksonville Beach?
Answer Options Jax Beach Residents n=343
Crime 21%
Environment 6%
Development/Growth 9%
Bars/Bar Crowd 1%
Traffic 7%
Non-Residents 2%
Economy 4%
Overcrowding 3%
Homelessness 15%
Fire Department Contract 1%
Parking 8%
Other 14%
Don't Know 1%
Refusal 7%

 

By Party
Answer Options Democrats n=119 Republicans n=134
Crime 21% 20%
Environment 13% 3%
Development/Growth 12% 10%
Bars/Bar Crowd 3% <1%
Traffic 8% 6%
Non-Residents 1% 3%
Economy 6% 3%
Overcrowding 3% 4%
Homelessness 10% 18%
Fire Department Contract 1% -
Parking 6% 11%
Other 13% 12%
Don't Know 1% 1%
Refusal 3% 8%

 

Recently, the Jacksonville Beach city council has been discussing the proposed Fire Service Agreement between the City of Jacksonville Beach and the City of Jacksonville. This agreement would contract out the Jacksonville Beach Fire Department to the Jacksonville Fire and Rescue Department for a county-wide, consolidated service provision. How familiar are you with this Fire Service Agreement?
Answer Options Jax Beach Residents n=343
Not at all familiar 39%
Slightly familiar 28%
Moderately familiar 24%
Extremely familiar 10%
Don't Know/Refusal -

 

Do you support or oppose the City of Jacksonville Beach contracting out its fire services to the City of Jacksonville?
Answer Options Jax Beach Residents n=343
Support 46%
Oppose 41%
Don't Know/Refusal 13%

 

By Party
Answer Options Democrats n=119 Republicans n=134
Support 43% 45%
Oppose 42% 43%
Don't Know/Refusal 14% 12%

 

Should the Jacksonville Beach City Council call for a binding referendum to approve the terms and conditions of the Fire Service Agreement?
Answer Options Jax Beach Residents n=343
Yes 61%
No 26%
Don't Know 13%

 

By Party
Answer Options Democrats n=119 Republicans n=134
Yes 67% 58%
No 23% 28%
Don't Know/Refusal 10% 14%

 

Currently, the City of Jacksonville Beach has no regulation of short-term vacation rentals beyond regulation of nuisance behavior such as noise, parking, garbage and other life-safety issues. From the list below select all of the ordinances that the City of Jacksonville Beach should add to their regulation of short-term vacation rentals.
Answer Options Jax Beach Residents n=343
Requirement for registration with the City 40%
Proof of business tax receipts from County and City 30%
Proof of certificate of registration with Department of Revenue 29%
Proof of license from Dept. of Business and Professional Regulation 31%
Multiple minimum life-safety requirements to meet the standards of the Florida Building Code and Florida Fire Code including: 1. Smoke/CO detectors (including specialized for hearing impaired) 2. Automatic sprinkler system for three stories and more 50%
Maximum occupancy limitations 58%
Off-street parking standards 56%
Solid waste handling requirements 43%
Requirement to comply with all other City regulations including noise limits, setbacks, stormwater, etc. as it may be applicable 63%
Initial and ongoing compliance inspections by the Building Official and/or Fire Marshall 40%
Required language for lease agreements and postings 32%
Designation of a responsible party available 24/7 50%
Enforcement by the Code Enforcement Special Magistrate 29%
Fines and Fees 34%
No additional regulations 16%

Survey Demographics

By Party
Party Registration Jax Beach Residents n=343
Democrat 24%
Republican 51%
NPA and other 25%

 

By Age
Age Jax Beach Residents n=343
18 to 24 7%
25 to 34 20%
35 to 44 17%
45 to 55 16%
56 to 64 18%
65 and older 22%

 

By Race
Race Jax Beach Residents n=343
White (not Hispanic) 89%
Black (not Hispanic) 3%
Hispanic 3%
Other 5%

 

By Sex
Sex Jax Beach Residents n=343
Male 48%
Female 52%

 

By Education Type
Education Jax Beach Residents n=343
Less than high school -
High school graduate 5%
Some college 35%
College graduate 33%
Post graduate degree 26%
Refusal 1%

Methodology

The UNF Jacksonville Beach Poll was conducted and sponsored by the Public Opinion Research Lab at UNF from Monday, May 6, through Sunday, May 12, through email via Qualtrics, an online survey platform. The sample frame was comprised of registered voters who reside in Jacksonville Beach. The email addresses used for this survey were sourced from the January 9 update of the Florida Voter File. Those who had an email address were sent the questionnaire May 6 at 3:46 p.m. A reminder email was sent to unfinished respondents May 9 at 3:53 p.m., and then May 11 at 10 a.m. Overall, there were 343 completed surveys of registered Jacksonville Beach voters, 18 years of age or older.

 

The margin of sampling error for the total sample is +/- 5.3 percentage points. Data was weighted by partisan registration, age, sex, race, and education. Education weights were created based on the 2017 American Community Survey. Partisan registration, age, sex, and race weights were created from the January 9, 2019, update of the Florida voter file to match the active voters in Jacksonville Beach. All weighted demographic variables were applied using the SPSS version 23 rake weighting function, which won't assign a weight if one of the demographics being weighted on is missing. Individuals without a weight were manually given a weight of 1. There were no statistical adjustments made due to design effects. This study had a 16.8 percent response rate. The American Association of Public Opinion Research Response Rate 3 calculation was used, which consists of an estimate of what proportion of cases of unknown eligibility are truly eligible. This survey was sponsored by the UNF PORL and directed by Dr. Michael Binder, UNF associate professor of political science.

 

The PORL is a full-service survey research facility that provides tailored research to fulfill each client's individual needs from political, economic, social and cultural projects. The PORL opened in 2001 and is an independent, non-partisan center, a charter member of the American Association for Public Opinion Research Transparency Initiative and a member of the Association of Academic Survey Research Organization. As members of AAPOR, the PORL's goal is to support sound and ethical practices in the conduct of survey and public opinion research. Moreover, the PORL is a charter member of the AAPOR Transparency Initiative and a member of the Association of Academic Survey Research Organizations.

 

UNF, a nationally ranked university located on an environmentally beautiful campus, offers students who are dedicated to enriching the lives of others the opportunity to build their own futures through a well-rounded education.

 

-UNF-