KELOWNA - If you consider yourself pretty much an average Kelownian, then you’re also pretty much satisfied with your life in the city.
That’s the conclusion of the most recent citizens survey, released Friday, April 10.
“We are generally encourage by the survey results,” city communications supervisor Jodie Foster Sexsmith says.
She believes the key indicators are quality of life in Kelowna (95 per cent said it was good) overall quality of city services (94 per cent gave it the thumbs up) and value for taxes paid (84 per cent rated it good).
Residents are not without our concerns, however, and the survey shows people worry about traffic congestion and the condition of the roadways, affordable housing, plus managing growth and development.
“There are areas where we need to keep collectively working,” Sexsmith says. “Those are things that remain priorities for citizens.”
As a group, Kelownians would like to see continued investment by the city in drinking water, roads, sewage treatment and diversity in housing.
“This is good information for staff and council,” she says. “It provides baseline information that can be taken into account for setting corporate priorities and budget allocations."
Survey respondents say the top five things making Kelowna a desireable place to live are the recreational opportunities (20 per cent) location and accessibility (15 per cent) natural setting (13 per cent) good employment opportunities (12 per cent) and amenities and services (12 per cent).
If quality of life has improved, the top five reasons are because respondents think it’s a nice place to live (13 per cent) downtown revitalization (12 per cent) steady growth (11 per cent) increasing recreational facilities and services (10 per cent) and good planning and development.
But the survey respondents also said why they think quality of life has decreased. Topping that list is the rising cost of living (21 per cent) unemployment (17 per cent) traffic congestion (13 per cent) overcrowding (12 per cent) and a negative opinion of city staff and council (10 per cent).
The 2015 citizen’s survey is the second time the city has conducted a telephone survey, which is considered statistically valid and superior to online surveys.
“It helps us see if the needle has moved at all,” Sexsmith says.
Polling firm Ipsos Reid conducted the survey in February, contacting at random 301 adult residents, using a mix of cellphone numbers and landlines.
The survey is weighted to reflect the gender and age distribution of Kelowna’s 123,000 residents with a margin of error of plus or minus 5.7 per cent, 19 times out of 20.
Kelowna city councillors will receive the citizen’s survey on Monday, April 13 and will also hear from the Ipsos Reid representative Catherine Knaus. The full results of the survey will be made available on the city website after the meeting.
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