Red Deerians satisfied with City according to Ipsos Reid survey

According to this year’s Ipsos Reid Citizen Satisfaction Survey, Red Deerians are again reporting a good quality of life here in the City.

A randomly selected group of 300 people aged 18 or older were given the survey. This year the survey had some new questions and some of the older questions were removed.

“This is the fifth year that we’ve done this. I would guess that, yes, the economy does have something to do with the results about quality of life,” said Julia Harvie-Shemko, communications and strategic planning manager.

Previous results have shown drops in satisfaction that can sometimes be linked to economic events, including a drop in financial satisfaction in 2008.

Councillor Chris Stephan was curious about the process of adding and removing questions and whether it would be worthwhile to add a couple of community related questions regarding issues such as fluoridation in the water.

Harvie-Shemko said the survey has until next spring to be re-evaluated and changed around.

“It will come through at budget and it can be quite costly to change the questions and add new ones so let’s keep that in mind.”

Councillor Cindy Jefferies pointed out that while the survey was going on there was a lot of discussion regarding traffic flow and bike lanes. At the same time, Councillor Frank Wong said it’s a good thing the survey was done in May and not now or there would have been more complaints about construction.

Transportation was the top issue people mentioned, with 16% of respondents putting it first, and an additional 8% putting it second.

“It’s very nice to receive this information and know that there is some statistical validity to it,” said Mayor Morris Flewwelling.

Flewwelling said it is great news about the community and that it renews the commitment of council and administration.

The survey showed that 20% of respondents said the quality of life in the past three years has improved, while 61% said it stayed the same. Only a nominal 15% said it had worsened.

The number one reason why people said quality of life has improved is due to Red Deer’s amenities and services, followed by the parks and green spaces coupled with the recreational facilities.

For those who said they thought quality of life had worsened the top reasons included high cost of living, the economy and the condition of City roads.

The top three priorities that people said they feel Red Deer should address in the next year include transportation, municipal government services and crime.

Councillor Paul Harris said, “This is just a snapshot. I hope that we all realize that this is just a small piece of the puzzle.”