City of Campbell River to ask for your opinion on its performance

Council approved spending $7,000 from general taxation on an Ipsos Reid citizen satisfaction survey

Residents can expect a phone call polling them on how well the city is performing starting next week.

During budget planning in January, city council approved spending $7,000 from general taxation on an Ipsos Reid citizen satisfaction survey that will take place over the telephone from May 6-17.

That survey will ask residents what they think is the most important issue facing the community, how the quality of life is in Campbell River, how the quality of life has changed in the past three years, and the cause of the change in quality of life.

Residents will also be asked to rank their satisfaction with city services such as maintenance, cleaning and upgrading of streets and sidewalks, recreation programs, parks, trails and other green space maintenance and development, cultural facilities, and the library.

Finally, the survey will poll residents on the value they feel they’re getting for their tax dollars, their preference for balancing taxation and service levels, information citizens want from the city, the best method for the city to communicate information to citizens, the frequency of contact with the city for information/service, and the level of satisfaction with city customer service.

Julie Douglas, the city’s communications advisor, said in a report to council that extra questions could be added to the survey for a cost.

“Should council wish to address other issues not in the core survey, staff have the opportunity to add additional questions prior to May 1,” Douglas said. “The cost for custom questions is $900 each.”

However, at last week’s council meeting, no councillor put forward a motion to formally add another question, though Mayor Walter Jakeway expressed his concern that the survey didn’t include any questions about Robron Park – a multi-million dollar improvement project that will more than likely involve borrowing money.

“I don’t see anything about Robron park – that’s a sizeable expenditure,” Jakeway said.

Laura Ciarniello, the city’s general manager of corporate services, confirmed that city staff did not craft a question regarding Robron, but added council could direct staff to add such a question.

Council in the end, however, only received Douglas’ report as information.

City staff expect to have the results of the survey by mid-June and will prepare a report detailing the outcome for the next council meeting after the results arrive.

This will be the first time since 2006 the city has conducted a statistically-valid satisfaction survey of local residents. The previous survey generated 400 responses over the phone and cost the city approximately $10,000.