Tuolumne County Profile - Community Indicators Project 2008
Tuolumne County Profile Introduction Health and Safety Education and the Arts Natural Resources and Recreation Economy and Infrastructure Appendices Conclusion Acknowledgements

INTRODUCTION

WHAT IS THE TUOLUMNE COUNTY PROFILE?

This is the second Tuolumne1 (too-all-uh-me) County Profile – a Community Indicators Project. The goal of this project is to inform, inspire, and even provoke. This is achieved by presenting sound, unbiased information on the issues our community identified as important to our quality of life. More than 100 community members worked together to create this document. We are inviting the community to immerse themselves in this information, talk about it, and use it to make our county an even better place to live, work and visit.

The Profile presents long-term trends of economic, environmental, and social well-being. Credible change can only be observed with solid comparisons. Therefore, we made every attempt to measure the same indicators in 2008 as we did in 2005, while assuring that they were still valid and understandable. Additionally, in response to an evaluation of the first Profile, we added the Arts and Heritage chapter.

Every three years, this information will be measured, compared to the previous reports, and presented to the community. We will also evaluate the use of this document and use the findings from this evaluation to refine our work.

Copies of the survey report are available in printed form throughout the county, on compact disc (CD) from the Sonora Area Foundation, and on the website listed on the bottom of each page of this document.

The value of the 2005 Profile can be documented by the distribution of more than 4,500 printed copies, 200 CDs, and the thousands of hits to the website. An evaluation of the 2005 Profile showed us that the uses were varied, and included:

  • Increasing awareness and advocacy for specific issues
  • Leveraging grant funding
  • Recruiting employees
  • Building networks with other groups, and creating new partnerships and trust
  • Generating additional and more in-depth research on timely issues
  • Getting beyond perceptions and opinions to data-driven decisions
  • Informing decision-makers such as elected officials
  • and business owners for planning and investment decisions
  • Reallocating resources

This edition highlights changes that occurred in the past three years. We hope to spur action based on solid information highlighting trends that truly affect the quality of life in our county.

We included interactive websites, where possible to help the reader access the most recent data.

How did we determine what the community deemed important?

For the 2005 Profile, we hired a professional research firm to conduct a random, statistically significant survey of our community. The goals of the research were (1) to ascertain what Tuolumne County residents deem to be the most important issues facing them, and (2) to involve them in prioritizing issues and other aspects of Tuolumne County life that are important to their well-being and sense of community. The firm determined that a random telephone call survey of 400 Tuolumne County households would be the best and most valid way to ask our community what was important about living in the county.

What did the 2005 phone survey tell us?

The main findings from the 2005 telephone survey were:

  • Residents are extremely pleased with Tuolumne County’s quality of life
  • Residents tend to rate overdevelopment, jobs, traffic, and housing costs as the top concerns facing the county
  • In relative terms, county residents see issues related to public health and safety as most important. In particular, residents view low rates of crimes against people – as opposed to crimes against property — as a critical factor in the county’s quality of life
  • Residents place a very high priority on clean air and clean water
  • Residents see a number of education-related items as important to the future of Tuolumne County
  • Residents value a low unemployment rate more than high incomes
  • Residents place a far higher priority on road conditions than on the availability of public transportation
  • Residents place a high value on protecting recreational opportunities
  • Residents tended to rate the availability of performing arts as more important than the availability of visual arts

1 "Tuolumne" may be "a corruption of the Indian word 'talmalamne' [or tualumne] which signifies 'a cluster of stone wigwams'. The suffix -umne means 'people in the Yokuts and Miwok languages.
(from Vallejo's Report per Erwin Gustav Gudde: California Place Names, University of California Press, 1969: p.348.)

Community Indicators Project
Tuolumne County - Central Sierra Mountains