City asks residents for opinions on local services and quality of life

Story by Stacie Gaetz


Photos by iStock

The City of Airdrie recently released its annual online Citizen Satisfaction Survey to gain insight into the issues and concerns facing residents.

“The purpose of the survey is to gather information on our citizens’ satisfaction with the services we deliver and their opinions on the value they receive for their property taxes,” says Ryan Johnson, corporate strategy advisor for the City of Airdrie.

“We ask for input on what the top issues are facing the city today. We also gather feedback regarding preferred communication methods, and specific topics that you would like the City to communicate with you about.”

This is the 21st Citizen Satisfaction Survey the City has conducted with the first one being done over the phone in 1998.

Johnson encouraged residents to take part in the survey as a way to give their feedback directly to the local government.

“Your feedback is valuable and important to us,” he says.

“We want to make sure we are taking actions and investing in what is important to the residents of our community.”

Last year, the survey collected two sets of results. The first is a random sample of 400 responses from the survey that is conducted by phone by a consultant and is statistically representative of the city demographics. The second data set is the exact same survey as the random sample, but it is online and open to anyone to complete, whether they are contacted by the City’s consultant or not.

In 2019, just over 600 residents responded, and last year more the 800 people took part.
“It would be great to see the trend continue and end up with over 1,000 responses to the open survey this year,” says Johnson.

“The results of this survey provide valuable information to help guide the business and budget planning processes. By understanding what our residents value, what their priorities are, and what they think of the services they receive, we are able to make better informed decisions and are able to invest in services and programs that are important to them.”

He adds that he understands that 2020 was “a very difficult year for many of our residents.”

“We hope that citizen’s satisfaction with service delivery remains high, but we may see some downward trends in areas like quality of life, or some changes to the top issues facing the city,” Johnson says.

“The feedback is still very valuable and will provide insight into our services that have done well in 2020, all things considered, and other areas where we can do better in the future.”

He adds anytime there is a significant decline in satisfaction, the City does further analysis and attempts to address it through the business planning process, which immediately follows the survey results.

In 2020, 92 per cent of residents who took the survey said their quality of life was good or very good. That number was down two per cent compared to 2019.

The top concerns of last year’s survey included:

  • Infrastructure, traffic, roads, construction (63 per cent)
  • Recreation facilities, parks, bike paths, dog parks (15 per cent)
  • Three issues were the top concern for 13 per cent of respondents:
    • Rapid growth management
    • Access to healthcare/hospital/doctor
    • Crime/community safety

The questions take between 10 and 15 minutes to complete and the results will be presented to the public at a council meeting in March.

The survey is open until Jan. 29 and can be accessed by clicking here.