The City of Airdrie is conducting its annual citizen satisfaction survey this month to gauge how content residents are with the municipality’s services and facilities, whether they feel they are receiving value for their tax dollars, and their overall quality of life during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The survey began on Jan. 10 and will run until the end of the day on Jan. 28. Third-party consulting and research firm Y Station will conduct the survey, providing the City of Airdrie with two sets of data, according to Ryan Johnson, corporate strategy advisor with the City of Airdrie.
“One is a statistically valid and reliable survey of 400 random responses, but there’s also an open opportunity survey, which we introduced in 2019,” he said.
According to Johnson, the first survey sample will be conducted through phone calls to residents’ landlines. But because the use of landlines is becoming less popular, the consulting firm will also use targeted social media ads that encourage respondents to take part.
“Citizens might see an ad from Y Station asking them to take the survey,” he said. “That forms the random, statistically valid sample.
“Our consultant will be directly contacting citizens to gather that sample to ensure its representative of the general population of Airdrie.”
Johnson, whose team assists the City in its strategic planning process, facilitating business planning and stewarding collected information for the entire organization, said regardless of whether Airdrie residents are contacted by the research firm or not, they are encouraged to make their voiced heard through the online survey.
He added last year, the open opportunity survey received 1,286 responses.
“The survey is a key input into our strategic planning and business planning process,” he said, adding top issues in last year’s survey included infrastructure, traffic, roads, and construction.
Johnson said these issues have been top-of-mind for Airdrie residents in the last couple of years, adding the City was happy to see mention of other issues facing the community in 2021 including recreational facilities, parks, and bike paths.
In addition, last year’s survey reflected COVID-19 pandemic-related issues and the impacts restrictions have placed on residents and businesses.
Johnson said the survey, which has been running for nearly 20 years, is part of the City’s efforts to respond to residents’ top concerns.
“Sixty-three per cent of people said [infrastructure] was the top issue in 2020, and now [the 40 Avenue highway bridge and interchange] has kicked off, people can see that construction is underway – we saw a 20 per cent drop in that issue last year,” he said.
“As the public sees these big projects being done specific to the infrastructure concern, we hope to see that trend down even further.”
Johnson said new questions that residents can expect in this year’s survey revolve around their satisfaction with the services and facilities the City provides and the value they feel they receive for their tax dollars.
“We want to gauge the importance of [services and facilities] and [residents’] satisfaction with all that we offer with the value they feel they receive for their property taxes,” he said. “We wanted a little more information – one more question gives us a lot of valuable information.”
Additional questions included in the survey consist of prompts regarding top issues faced around town and the overall quality of life of residents living in Airdrie.
“One of the things the City needs to manage is taxes, tax increases, and service delivery, so [we want to know] which strategy would the public support to deal with the increased cost of maintaining current services and infrastructure.”
Johnson said if the City were to anticipate this year’s results, he said he expects to see continued concerns regarding the COVID-19 pandemic.
“We recognize the last two years have been rather upended and very difficult for many of our residents, so we may see some downward movements in some areas of the survey,” he said. “But, we still value the feedback, and it still will provide us with insight into the services that we’ve continued to do well throughout the pandemic.
“And guide us in other areas where you know we can do better in the future when we’re all through this.”
He said whether you are a resident who has sought out the survey yourself through the City’s website, or if the consultant firm has contacted you directly, the City values your feedback.
“We really appreciate any feedback that we receive, and we’re really looking forward to seeing the results.”
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