Survey results mixed

All’s well in the city, according to online survey: yet only 93 people took the time to complete it

Everything is pretty good in Parksville according to respondents to a recent online survey.

Only 93 people responded, giving it a 10 per cent margin of error, but mayor Chris Burger said it is still valuable information that closely reflects more extensive surveys the city has done.

The most recent resident satisfaction survey was done online from November to January 15, using the same questions as a 2008 telephone survey and a more comprehensive mail survey in 2010.

The idea is to help staff and council understand the community’s priorities and evaluate the effectiveness of the city’s services.

“The numbers are not high enough,” admitted Burger about the accuracy, but added it will tie in nicely as a small part of the current OCP update process.

The online poll found the majority (83 per cent) rated the overall value of services as excellent, very good or good and 91.5 per cent rated the overall quality of life here as excellent, very good or good.

The 2010 mail-in survey was answered by 1,919 people, giving it a two per cent margin of error and the exact same portion rated the city services as good to excellent.

The portion of people who rated them as “poor” dropped from 2.5 per cent to zero this time.

Asked which programs people would support tax increases for, the largest group (48.5 per cent) said downtown enhancement, followed by 44 per cent supporting more sidewalks and 35 per cent wanting more recreational facilities. Respondents listed their three most important issues for council to address as: protection of resources (37.6 per cent) and water conservation and quality tied with waterfront development (36.6 per cent).

Asked about satisfaction with specific services, parks, fire services and water quality, all came out above 80 per cent satisfied.

The lowest level of satisfaction was in bylaw enforcement, economic development, downtown revitalization and parking/traffic management, with over 30 per cent dissatisfied. At the bottom is land use, planning and building permits with almost 53 per cent dissatisfied and only 8.6 per cent very satisfied.

Survey results and comments are available at www.parksville.ca.