Date of Award


Degree Name

Master of Arts



First Advisor

Dr. Thomas Van Valey

Second Advisor

Dr. Douglas Davidson

Third Advisor

Dr. Robert Peters

Access Setting

Masters Thesis-Open Access


My research will evaluate the citizen complaints made to various departments in the Kalamazoo, Michigan's City Hall for the years of 1993 and 1994. The complaints were compiled on a monthly basis by the Citizen Action Center for the various departments. The number and types of complaints received and significant differences in the frequency and content of complaints or patterns of change from one year to the other were analyzed.

There was a consistent pattern in the content or types of complaints concerning the Public Works department from 1993 to 1994, but no consistent pattern for any of the other categories of complaints. While the finding is important to the Public Works department, it does not correspond with Wagenheim and Reurink's (1991) conclusion that once the citizens' service needs have been identified, city departments must develop revised service delivery systems to respond to those needs. This study suggests that there are areas where city governments need to work continually at improving their service. If customer service is improved upon, employees may be more eager to assist citizens with their complaints and grievances, therefore creating at least the perception of a more smoothly run government.

Included in

Sociology Commons