2015 Citizen Survey shows overall satisfaction very high at 87 per cent

Controlling growth remains top priority for residents

The 2015 Citizen Survey results are in! According to the results of the survey conducted by Pollara Strategic Insights, 87 per cent of residents are happy with their municipal government. The results were consistent across gender, income and age and maintained the high levels of satisfaction achieved in 2013. The town conducts a survey every two years to track overall citizen satisfaction with town performance, identify merging issues, and help set strategic priories for the future.

“Council’s strategic priorities and main areas of focus are in line with what matters most to Oakville residents,” Mayor Rob Burton said. “This year’s Citizen Survey confirms that residents are pleased with the work being done by Town Council and staff to provide cost effective programs and services that they rely on year after year and that make Oakville so livable.”

During his presentation to Council, Craig Worden, executive vice-president of Public Affairs for Pollara Strategic Insights noted that the results were amongst the highest government ratings that Pollara has seen. “Oakville performs high on satisfaction ratings overall, as well as on individual 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 specific services provided by the town as well as key aspects of the town such as the appearance of the community. Overall satisfaction with key town aspects was 90 per cent, while overall satisfaction with town services was slightly lower at 85 per cent. The highest levels of satisfaction were with feeling of belonging and being safe (95 per cent), parks and green spaces (94 per cent) and public library services (90 per cent), while provision of municipal parking (70 per cent) and public transit (52 per cent, down 8 per cent from 2013) were lowest rated scores. Winter road maintenance saw the largest improvement since 2013, rising six points.

“Public transit is traditionally one of the lowest rated services in municipal surveys,” noted Worden. “Improving transit satisfaction is a common challenge for municipalities, as they have to balance the competing demands of users and non-users of this service.”

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 mentioned by only 13 per cent of respondents, and has continued to drop from 30 per cent in 2007. However, concern with traffic has bounced back to match 2007 levels of 12 per cent so it is not surprising that controlling the rate and type of growth was ranked as the most important policy priority for the town.

“Controlling growth will continue to be a priority for Council,” Mayor Burton said. “Council will ensure we have the right tools available to control where, and how, growth can occur in Oakville. This is done through the development of our recent inZone comprehensive zoning by-law and by updating our Livable Oakville official plan to ensure any new concerns are incorporated.”

Other significant results show that online communications continue to be of growing importance. Seventy-four per cent of respondents now identify oakville.ca as their preferred way to access town information, up 10 per cent in two years, and 76 per cent of respondents would prefer to interact with the town through online tools. This support will likely change the way the town conducts elections in the future, as the town seeks new ways to engage votes and increase voter turnout. Sixty-four per cent of survey respondents who did not vote in the last election said they would be more likely to vote if they could vote online.

The 20-minute telephone survey took place in January and a randomly-selected, representative sample of 808 residents responded to questions on service satisfaction, quality of life issues and priorities for action. This is the seventh citizen survey Oakville has conducted. The first town-wide citizen survey was conducted in 2001, followed by 2004, 2007, 2009, 2011 and 2013. 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.


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2015 Citizen Survey shows overall satisfaction very high at 87 per cent

Oakville launches 2015 Citizen Survey

Monday, January 12, 2015 – for immediate release

Oakville launches 2015 Citizen Survey

Residents encouraged to participate. Survey seeks feedback until January 30

Today, the Town of Oakville launched the 2015 Citizen Survey—a town-wide initiative to ask residents to rate the quality of life in Oakville and their approval with the programs and services offered by the town. The 2015 survey will be conducted from January 12 to 30, by phone and online.

“Engaging with Oakville residents is a top priority for Council,” said Mayor Rob Burton. “The Citizen Survey is one of the essential tools we use to seek feedback from residents. I encourage all residents to take a few moments and participate.”

The Town of Oakville conducts the survey every two years to better understand what residents perceive as the top issues facing the town, gauge public perception on municipal service delivery as well as measure changes in residents’ attitudes, behaviours, and quality of life indicators.

As part of the 2015 Citizen Survey process, Pollara Strategic Insights will be conducting a random 15- to 20-minute telephone survey on the town’s behalf. To complement the phone survey, there’s also a short online survey to solicit additional feedback about town programs, services and more. Residents can also sign up on the town’s Idea Forum to post their own ideas or vote on other people’s suggestions.

Access the Idea Forum and online survey.

Results of both surveys and the Idea Forum will be shared with Council at the strategic planning session on February 20, 2015. This presentation and a 2015 Report Card to Citizens will be available on the town’s website. To review past survey results visit the citizen survey page.


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Oakville launches 2015 Citizen Survey

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 oakville.ca 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
jcourtemanche@oakville.ca


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Residents give town top marks for service

Province agrees to Mayor’s request for more time on hospital funding

Tuesday, March 02, 2010 – for immediate release

Province agrees to Mayor’s request for more time on hospital funding

Council has until April 24, 2010 to make its decision on local share plan contribution

March 2, 2010 – For immediate release
The Ministry of Health has amended its project deadlines in response to Mayor Burton’s request for more time for Council to consider Halton Healthcare Services’ request for a $200 million contribution to the local share funding required for the new hospital. The project will retain its place in the provincial funding queue but Council will have more time to get answers and determine funding scenarios. Oakville MPP Kevin Flynn attended last night’s Council meeting to announce the new deadline of April 24, 2010 — the date by which Council must make a commitment to the local share plan funding if the project is to proceed.

“This Council remains committed to securing a new hospital for Oakville, and this extra time will ensure we get the best deal possible for our taxpayers,” Mayor Burton said. “Financial sustainability and enhancing our social environment are both key strategic goals for this Council. We have to work to find a way to achieve both these goals if we are to achieve our vision of making Oakville the most livable town in Canada.”

MPP Flynn’s announcement came at the beginning of Monday night’s Council meeting, which was thereafter devoted to hearing the results of the town’s public consultation process, and hearing from the many delegations present at the meeting who wanted to speak to the issue.

“We respect that public opinion is very split on this issue,” Mayor Burton said. “I think the extra time we have to make our decision will give Council the time to find a solution that bridges the split in public opinion.”

Council heard that all three surveys conducted by the town and Pollara Strategic Insights, an outside research firm, showed that only a slim majority of residents supported increasing property taxes by the amount required to provide a $200 million local share plan contribution to the new hospital.

Craig Worden, senior vice-president of Pollara Strategic Insights, told Council that such polarized results take time to overcome and that the public will likely react negatively if the issue was rushed. Worden also noted that similar studies across the GTA have found an average tax levy amount of $60 to $80 per year to be the ceiling in terms of achieving clear, solid public support. The town’s survey noted that a property tax levy of about $140 a year was required to raise the requested amount of $200 million plus interest.

Council will continue to hear public delegations on the issue on Wednesday March 3, 2010 at 6 p.m.

Read Mayor Burton’s letter to Minister of Health Deborah Matthews outlining the town’s questions regarding funding the new hospital.

For more information the surveys and public consultation, visit Funding a new hospital for Oakville.

For more information on the new Oakville hospital, visit their website.

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For more information:
Jane Courtemanche
Director, Strategy, Policy and Communications
Town of Oakville
905-845-6601 ext. 3038
jcourtemanche@oakville.ca 


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Province agrees to Mayor’s request for more time on hospital funding