Wednesday, January 13, 2021 - 9:15 AM

Citizen Satisfaction Up Significantly Since First Survey In 2018

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At the Committee of the Whole meeting on January 13, Council received a report outlining the results of the City’s 2020 Citizen Satisfaction Survey. Overall, the survey results show progress and improvement in some areas and notes areas for future improvement and focus.

  • In 2020, 85% of residents rated their overall satisfaction with the programs and services provided by the City of St. John’s a 7 or higher out of 10, up 15% over 2018.
  • In 2020, 88% of residents rated their overall quality of life a 7 or higher on a 10-point scale, up 10% from two years ago.
  • 70% of residents rated the overall value of what they receive for their tax dollars a 7 or higher out of 10, up 14% from our last survey. 

“We are very pleased to see positive gains in a number of areas in the past two years and that satisfaction has increased for residents,” said Mayor Danny Breen. “Council and staff have worked hard to address key areas of concern for residents, and we are pleased to see that we are making progress on these important matters.”

The survey was conducted via telephone between October 24 and November 15, 2020. A total of 501 surveys were completed (298 landline / 203 cell) using a stratified sampling approach, resulting in an overall margin of error of +/- 4.4 percentage points 19 times out of 20. 100 surveys were completed in each of the five wards.

The survey asked respondents to rate the overall importance of 20 service areas offered by the City and to indicate their level of satisfaction with each area. While road snow clearing and maintenance, waste collection, water and sewer and parks and trails maintained their top priority, sidewalk snow clearing, the Access Centre, land use planning and recreation programming saw significant increases in priority for residents. While there were some gains made in satisfaction of road maintenance, snow clearing (road) and traffic planning, these still emerge from the 2020 survey as primary areas for improvement along with sidewalk snow clearing.

Overall, interactions with the City and communications from the City saw improvements in satisfaction, while there continues to be room for growth in uptake of the city’s online services as well as in allowing citizens to have meaningful input into decision making. This survey also measured trust for the first time: 42% of residents say they trust the City a great deal; 45% say they trust the City a little; and 9% expressed distrust.

“The results of this survey will be used to form the basis of planning for the next multi-year budget cycle and to review the directions and goals of the strategic plan including continuous improvement focus areas,” said Mayor Breen.

A new question was added in 2020 to understand to what extent residents’ households felt impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. Overall, 58% indicated their financial situation had stayed the same despite the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic; 19% indicated things had improved; and 22% had seen their financial situation worsen. This was relatively consistent across demographics although the incidence of respondents reporting their financial situation had worsened decreased with age.

For more details, read the full report on the City’s website.