The majority of Sechelt residents feel life is good in the municipality, according to a survey of 300 random people conducted late last year.
The District of Sechelt commissioned citizen satisfaction survey was carried out by the Innovative Research Group between Nov. 27 and Dec. 1, 2012. Results of the phone survey showed 79 per cent of residents polled rated their quality of life as good or very good.
About 68 per cent of those contacted also indicated they were happy with the level of service received at the District, with 41 per cent saying they were very satisfied.
The strongest overall level of satisfaction was reported in park maintenance and services, with 83 per cent content with what the District currently offers.
The survey also showed some areas of dissatisfaction, including economic development, traffic movement and water, sewer and road services.
Those three areas, as well as the environment, development and government operations, were among the issues respondents felt “should receive the greatest attention” from the District.
“Council is very happy with the results and especially the survey question regarding municipal services,” acting mayor Doug Hockley said this week.
The 300-person survey is considered accurate to within 5.7 percentage points, 19 times out of 20.
As of the 2011 census, Sechelt had 9,291 residents; however, Hockley defended the small survey group.
“The Innovative Research Group, with offices in Toronto and Vancouver, have their reputation riding on the stated results and they conducted the survey based on their professional best practices standards,” he said.
When asked why there were no questions on the survey regarding spending, the Sechelt golf course takeover or staff turnover at the District, Hockley said the survey was designed to be used in future years comparatively.
“Issues like the 2011 staff turnover and the golf course issue would not be valid in future years,” he said. “There was an opportunity for residents to identify the ‘most important issues facing the District’ and it was noted that 18 (six per cent) out of 300 surveyed stated that government operations needed attention by the District and six (two per cent) out of 300 surveyed mentioned the golf course as a concern.”
Sechelt will now use the findings from the survey, which cost $16,016, to focus their efforts for 2013.
“Sechelt council’s 2013 strategic renewal plans will focus on addressing the main concerns mentioned by the respondents regarding an improvement to water, sewer and roads,” Hockley said. “The other primary focus will be on improving economic development through a variety of different initiatives.”
To see the survey in its entirety go to www.sechelt.ca.