Warrnambool City's chief has promised to do better after the council's customer satisfaction results took a major tumble.
The community gave the council a rating of 42 on overall performance, down from 56 in 2019, in the annual local government community satisfaction survey.
The community's scorecard marked the city down in all seven core measures including the council's direction, which fell from 50 to 32.
Corangamite Shire's overall performance also dropped while Moyne Shire's survey result held steady.
Warrnambool's chief executive officer Peter Schneider said it showed the council had work to do if it was to regain the trust and confidence of the community.
"While we can look at the challenging issues that were playing out at the time the survey was conducted - horses on beaches, a councillor resignation, the Reid Oval design, The Lookout proposal, free car parking, ongoing investigations into management of credit cards and the start of COVID-19 restrictions - the reality is that many in the community are not happy with our performance and we must address this," he said.
"We've had a clear message from the community that they are disappointed in us.
"The findings tell us we need to approach some issues differently and where we are making difficult decisions we need to do a better job of explaining why those decisions were made.
"There were some encouraging results with the following categories in line with either state or regional centre averages: appearance of public areas, emergency and disaster management, waste management, family support services, elderly support services, local law enforcement, tourism development, disadvantaged support services, environmental sustainability, business and community development, building and planning permits and population growth."
Corangamite's customer satisfaction dropped in all key performance areas with its overall score dropping from 69 to 65 but that still put it above its 2016 and 2017 results.
Despite the drop, the council said its overall performance was 10 points higher than average for similar-sized councils, and seven points higher than the statewide average.
The council attributed last year's high score to its response to the St Patrick's Day bushfires.
Moyne Shire's overall performance held steady at 60 - the same as last year and above the average score for large rural shires of 55.
While it held steady or improved in most key indicators, it did take a hit when it came to roads and the direction of council.
On the condition of local roads, the council's performance dropped from 39 to 35 and was well below the average of 47 for similar-sized councils and below Corangamite which scored 41.
When it came to the overall direction, community satisfaction in Moyne fell 54 to 51 but that was still above the average score of 50.
The surveys, independently conducted by JWS Research, are conducted annually and include most Victorian councils.
The 2020 results show that around Victoria generally community satisfaction across all seven core measures decreased over the past year.
The survey, conducted between January 30 and March 22, asked 400 residents in each council area a range of questions relating to how they perceived the council had performed across a broad range of services.
The full survey results will be made available on Warrnambool council's website.