Survey reveals negative perception of Chula Vista

CHULA VISTA - It’s hard to hear six out of 10 people don’t like you.

It’s even harder when it’s a whole city competing against the likes of San Diego.

Chula Vista has been presented with two very different surveys, each giving the city reason to smile and frown. The first survey of Chula Vista residents revealed that 75 percent of Chula Vistans love their city and believe the local government is doing a good job.

“It was a very thumbs up report,” Chula Vista Mayor Cheryl Cox said.

However, Mayor Cox’s smile turns upside down after the results of a new countywide web-based survey were released Thursday. It revealed that 60 percent of San Diego County residents who do not reside in Chula Vista have a negative view of the South Bay city.

Of the 417 people surveyed, only 47 percent reported visiting Chula Vista more that once a year.

“It was disappointing,” Cox said.  “They said they didn’t want to come to Chula Vista because it wasn’t a safe place.”

FBI statistics say Chula Vista has been one of the top three safest cities in the county for years.  Mayor Cox said the city’s challenge is to change that perception by promoting popular destinations like the Living Coast Discovery Center, U.S. Olympic Training Center, the 550-acre Bayfront, SeaWorld’s Aquatica, and the Sleep Train Amphitheater.

The Chula Vista Elementary School District is also one of the highest scoring districts in San Diego County.

“We’ve got to tackle what this outside survey showed,” Cox said.

The countywide survey was conducted by Luth Research in early 2014.

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