It looks like the District of Sechelt will be setting up a citizen’s survey to help them assess their performance and make changes where needed.
“Having the District tuned in to the needs and wants of citizens is key to ensuring if we meet or exceed citizens’ expectations of their local government,” a report by interim CAO Rick Beauchamp said. “A citizen survey would help establish benchmarks for council to help guide strategic planning for the council term.”
Some on council felt they already knew the issues of importance to the community, but noted the effort could still be worthwhile.
“If we’re looking at addressing these issues then it’s almost worthwhile to do it to have a baseline. So we have the baseline established and then a year down the road or whatever we can come back and we have something to measure against,” said Coun. Darnelda Siegers during the July 11 committee of the whole meeting where the idea was discussed.
Coun. Alice Lutes agreed a baseline was needed, adding a survey would give more residents a chance to have their voices heard.
Staff are proposing council hire Ipsos Reid to conduct the telephone survey and their estimated cost for the service comes in from $15,000 to $17,500, depending upon how many minutes the surveys take.
Mayor John Henderson said teaming up with the Sunshine Coast Community Forest on the effort could cut that cost.
“The Community Forest might well be interested in being a part of this, which would help potentially defray some of the costs, if you can provide one phone call and ask several questions, some about trees and some about other issues,” Henderson said.
Council directed staff to look into the option and report back to council at a future meeting.