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2016 Civic Services Survey Show Citizen Satisfaction & Quality of Life Rate High

For immediate release: August 14, 2017 - 1:22pm
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The results are in on the 2016 Civic Services Survey and public engagement activities, which will help shape the City’s 2017 Business Plan and Budget. This year’s Civic Services Survey shows overall satisfaction with the level of services provided by the City remains high and is significantly higher than in 2013. Since 2013, overall satisfaction increased by 5% for telephone respondents and 10% for online respondents.

“I am very pleased to see this result,” says Catherine Gryba, General Manager of Corporate Performance. “In 2015, we established a performance target of overall satisfaction with civic services of 90% or more. Looking at 2016 survey results, it shows we are definitely moving in the right direction toward hitting that target.”

The majority of Civic Services Survey respondents continue to rate Saskatoon’s quality of life as high, and they feel the City is on the right track to becoming a better city 10 years from now. Each year, citizens are also asked to the name the most important issue facing the City. 

“In 2013, citizens were very concerned with the condition of roads and sidewalks,” says Gryba. “As a result of that feedback, we launched the most aggressive road improvement program in the community’s history, Building Better Roads, in 2014. That investment is definitely making a difference, and although roads continue to be cited as the most important issue, there are significantly fewer respondents saying this is an issue as compared to 2013.” 

Similar to 2015, citizens also prefer to pay for services and balance the operating budget using a combination of user fees and property tax increases. Annual survey results have always been considered in the development of the City’s business plans and budgets, but Gryba says additional engagement initiatives are also proving to be quite valuable, including an online budget tool called "Citizen Budget", and in-person surveys conducted at various locations throughout the City.

“Participation in the Citizen Budget was very strong this year with over 2,600 unique visitors and a total of 803 online submissions, which is an increase of 60% for online budget submissions and matches the number of participants in the 2016 Civic Services Survey online study.” 

Although participation for the in-person survey varies and cannot be considered statistically reliable, the responses still provide important input into the process. When the results of all engagement initiatives are combined, citizens generally support increases in service levels or an increase in spending on road maintenance. Besides road maintenance, there is also support for increases for affordable housing, transit, snow and ice management, and traffic management. 

“It’s interesting to see the needs and wants of citizens of varying demographics coming in as fairly consistent through each method of engagement,” says Gryba.

The 2016 Civic Services Survey and Citizen Budget engagement strategies support the Strategic Goal of Continuous Improvement and being the best-managed city in Canada. All results are available at saskatoon.ca/financialfuture and in the coming weeks the comments provided by on the Citizen Budget site will also be posted.