Sechelt residents were less satisfied with municipal services and their overall quality of life in 2013 compared to 2012, a report from Innovative Research Group found.
The report was presented to council at its May 7 regular meeting. It showed that satisfaction with District services fell 15 per cent overall since the previous survey (in 2012) while the quality of life went down two per cent.
Staff had hoped to present the findings of the 2013 survey earlier this year, but there was difficulty getting one of the researchers to appear before council, according to communications manager Connie Jordison.
On May 7, Jordison presented the report to council herself, noting it was “a little later than I would have liked.”
She said the survey saw 300 randomly selected residents answer a series of questions by telephone between Nov. 19 and 21, 2013.
The survey found that residents were most satisfied with services like garbage removal and recycling, park maintenance, policing and arts and culture, but that residents were least satisfied with the District’s efforts in economic development, bylaw enforcement, planning and development, sewer and wastewater and communication with residents.
“Over half, 57 per cent, of the people surveyed said there was too little communication,” Jordison said, noting the District is working to increase their communication with constituents.
The top issue identified by residents for 2013 was water and sewer services in Sechelt.
Researchers noted in the report that “the location of the new sewage treatment plant seems to be driving a lot of the comments.”
After accepting the survey findings on May 7, Sechelt Mayor John Henderson thanked Jordison for her presentation.
“I just observe that nobody likes to get bad news, but I’d rather get it than not know it because if you get it at least you can focus on what you need to do to improve in some areas,” Henderson said.
The results of the survey are considered accurate to within plus or minus 5.7 percentage points 19 times out of 20.
View the survey report in its entirety on the District of Sechelt website at www.sechelt.ca.
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