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But people still want better snowclearing, road maintenance
Citizens of St. John’s are happier with their city council than they were two years ago.
According to the city’s 2020 citizen satisfaction survey, 85 per cent of residents rated their overall satisfaction with the programs and services provided by the city seven out of 10 or higher. That’s up 15 per cent from 2018, the last time the study was conducted.
Eighty-eight per cent of residents rated their overall quality of life a seven or higher on a 10-point scale — a 10 per cent increase from two years ago.
For overall value of what they received for their tax dollars, 70 per cent of residents gave a rating of seven or higher out of 10. In 2018, council received a 56 per cent rating.
Results of the study, from MQO Survey, were presented at council’s committee of the whole meeting Wednesday
At the Committee of the Whole meeting on January 13, Council received the results of the City’s 2020 Citizen...Posted by City of St. John's on Wednesday, January 13, 2021
The survey was conducted via telephone between Oct. 24 and Nov. 15, 2020. A total of 501 surveys were completed (298 by landline and 203 by cellphone) using a stratified sampling approach, resulting in an overall margin of error of +/- 4.4 percentage points 19 times out of 20. One-hundred surveys were completed in each of the five wards.
The survey asked respondents in each ward of the city to rate the overall importance of 20 service areas offered by the city and to indicate their level of satisfaction with each area.
While road snowclearing and maintenance, waste collection, water and sewer, and parks and trails maintained their top priority, sidewalk snowclearing, the access centre, land-use planning and recreational programming saw significant increases in priority for residents.
Road maintenance, snowclearing (road) and traffic planning emerged from the 2020 survey as primary areas for improvement, along with sidewalk snowclearing.
Overall, residents were happy with how the city communicated information, while there continues to be room for growth in uptake of the city’s online services as well as in allowing citizens to have meaningful input into decision-making.
The survey also measured trust for the first time. Forty-two per cent of residents say they trust the city a great deal, 45 per cent say they trust the city a little and nine per cent expressed distrust.
The results of the survey will be used to form the basis of planning for the next multi-year budget cycle and to review the directions and goals of the strategic plan, including continuous improvement focus areas.
A new question was added in 2020 to measure to what extent residents’ households felt affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. Overall, 58 per cent indicated their financial situation had stayed the same despite the COVID-19 pandemic, 19 per cent indicated things had improved and 22 per cent had seen their financial situation worsen.
This was relatively consistent across demographics, although the incidence of respondents reporting their financial situation had worsened decreased with age.
The full report can be seen on the city’s website at http://stjohns.ca/publications/2020-citizen-satisfaction-survey.