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Press Release - Citizen Satisfaction Survey
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CITIZEN SATISFACTION SURVEY FINDS MOST OSOYOOS RESIDENTS POSITIVE ABOUT LOCAL AFFAIRS
Osoyoos Town Council has taken the pulse of public opinion and has found that most residents have a positive view of the state of local affairs.
Council recently commissioned the Ipsos Reid public affairs research firm to conduct an impartial Osoyoos Citizen Satisfaction Survey. Between April 29 and May 9, telephone interviews were conducted with 300 randomly selected residents 18 and over. The data was weighted to ensure an accurate reflection of the age and gender distribution of the local population. Cost of the survey was $7,400 plus GST. The full survey report will be considered at Council’s July 19 meeting and is available in the advance documentation package for that meeting. It will be posted on the Town website in the near future.
The survey’s goal was to gauge people’s satisfaction levels and get their input regarding priority issues in the community, quality of life, municipal services, Council’s communication with residents, and perceived value for municipal spending.
“We were interested in getting a true reflection of the opinions of the people of Osoyoos, and I’m confident we have done that,” Mayor Stu Wells says. “While Council still has to study the detailed results, I think this survey provides us with some excellent information that will help us move forward and deal with important local issues in the best way possible.”
The mayor says he was happy to see that the general satisfaction level of residents is high. “I was also very pleased to see that the environment is the most important issue for people, and that the quality of Osoyoos Lake is ranked as a high priority,” says Wells, who is also chair of the Okanagan Basin Water Board.
The mayor noted that the survey shows residents’ satisfaction levels are not quite as high regarding the amount of communication the Town provides. “It appears that we can be doing a better job of getting information out to people. We must work harder at that and make it happen,” Wells says.
Some highlights from the Osoyoos Citizen Satisfaction Survey include:
Overall perceptions of quality of life, municipal services and value for tax dollars are positive.
Quality of life: 93% of respondents rate their quality of life in the community as very good or good.
Services: 87% are very or somewhat satisfied with the quality of municipal services.
Value for taxes: 78% say they are getting very good value or fairly good value for their tax dollars.
When the public was asked for their main issues, the environment ranks first – well above the rating that issue receives in other communities.
Other top-of-mind issues include the economy, growth, transportation and municipal government services.
Growth is mentioned as a reason why the quality of life has both improved and worsened.
Citizens prefer tax increases over service cuts.
35% say increase taxes to maintain service levels and 27% say cut services to maintain current tax levels.
There is room to increase the amount of information distributed to residents.
54% say they receive just the right amount of information from the Town.
50% say the newspaper is the best way to communicate.
Four-in-ten citizens have visited the Town’s website in the past 12 months.
When asked to rank Council’s identified priorities, residents say the most important is Town investment in affordable housing.
The Citizen Satisfaction Survey will be one of the tools used by the Town’s administration as it reviews the strengths and needs for improvement of local services. While Mayor Wells says he doesn’t see a need to conduct a major opinion survey like this every year, he adds it may be useful for the Town to survey the opinion of residents every few years.
This detailed Ipsos Reid survey will serve not only as a current ‘report card’ on municipal issues, but will also be a benchmark for judging the results of future opinion surveys and helping the Town to assess its progress on a variety of issues. It will also help Council as it makes future decisions on the allocation of resources into public priority areas.
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Please click on the link below to view the report.
The Town of Osoyoos is a vibrant community of approximately 5,000 people at the crossroads of Highways 3 and 97 in the South Okanagan Valley, near the U.S. border. It has a unique desert environment, the nation’s warmest lake and climate, and is home to thriving fruit orchards, vineyards, wineries, golf courses, year-round tourism facilities, and many small businesses. Osoyoos offers “Canada’s Warmest Welcome”.
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