Residents give town top marks for service

Confidence in local government reaches new heights

The 2013 Citizen Survey results are in! According to the results of the survey conducted by Pollara Strategic Insights, 85 per cent of residents believe that Oakville is better than most areas in the Greater Toronto Area (GTA) when it comes to overall livability. The survey also revealed that 87 per cent of residents are happy with their municipal government, showing significant increases in satisfaction levels since 2011. The town conducts a survey every two years to track overall performance.

“Our goal is to ensure that our residents are receiving excellent value for their tax dollars,” Mayor Rob Burton said. “The results tell us that our strategic priorities and key areas of focus are in line with citizens’ top of mind issues.”

During his presentation to Council, Craig Worden, senior vice-president of Public Affairs for Pollara Strategic Insights noted that the results were vastly positive. “Oakville performs high on satisfaction ratings overall, as well as on programs and services delivered to the community. Residents are clearly satisfied that the town is on the right track in addressing and managing the local issues that they care most about.”

Residents were asked to rate 11 services provided by the town. Eight of the 11 key service areas received satisfaction levels of over 80 per cent, while satisfaction for parks and green spaces, recreation fields and facilities, and public library services exceeded 90 per cent. The most noticeable increases were in satisfaction with managing tax dollars and satisfaction with public transit, both up seven per cent to 74 per cent and 60 per cent respectively. While satisfaction with winter road and sidewalk maintenance was down 11 per cent from 2011, this result is closer to the long-term average and reflects the comparative severity of this past winter.

Residents clearly identified that the biggest challenge facing the Oakville community was controlling growth. Urban sprawl/rapid development was identified by residents as the most important issue facing Oakville today, although this was down from a high of 38 per cent in 2004. Controlling the rate and type of growth was ranked as the most important policy priority for the town.

“Responsible and sustainable planning is and continues to be a priority for this Council,” Mayor Burton said. “We are in the midst of updating the town’s comprehensive zoning by-law, InZone, under our Livable Oakville official plan to ensure Council is able to control where and how growth can occur.”

Online communications continue to be of growing importance. Sixty-four per cent of respondents identified as their preferred way to access town information. Program registration, bill payment and subscription-based eNewsletters were among the top online services identified as important by respondents.

As part of the citizen survey process, the town opened up the “What makes Oakville livable” Idea Forum to engage residents in discussion, and produced 25 ideas that were presented to Council. The forum will remain open for residents to share their ideas and vote on others on the Oakville Idea Forum website.

The 20-minute random telephone survey took place in late February and early March 2013 and asked 800 residents to respond to questions on service satisfaction, quality of life issues and priorities for action. This is the sixth citizen survey Oakville has conducted. The first town-wide citizen survey was conducted in 2001, followed by 2004, 2007, 2009 and 2011. Findings are accurate to +/- 3.5 per cent, 19 times out of 20.

Current and past survey results are available on the citizen surveys page.

For more information:

Jane Courtemanche
Director Strategy, Policy & Communications
Town of Oakville
905-845-6601, ext. 3038

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Residents give town top marks for service