I understand your question and it does relate to open data. It seems like you have a piece of open data: municipal service requests (i.e. "fix the pothole in front of my house!"). Your followup question is a good one: given the number of service requests, are these people just cranky, or are there actually more needed items to be fixed in a certain area?
I searched a while for data on the responsiveness of public works departments in municipalities. Not surprisingly, this data is not collected yet in an open fashion that I could find. It is alluded to in annual reports, but even there, the numbers are sparse.
Some alternate possibilities:
Try to get the total number of requests historically, before and after the open data request system opened up.
Get the number of "potholes fixed" (public works improvements?) with and without an actual service request (this is harder I would imagine, and you will need to clarify what projects are and are not included).
Get the number/type of service requests and overlay demographics (maybe old people call more, or maybe rich people, soccer moms, etc). A lot of this will depend on how the request is geo-located (by zip, by block group, etc)
As an aside, I think it might actually be a good thing to have some sort of "responsiveness" metric for public works departments; maybe you could make one. Every department seems to claim that it is responsive, but I was unable to prove this by looking at their annual reports since they didn't use numbers.