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Community Survey 2021 Shows 95% Satisfaction Rate with Overall Quality of Services in Burlington — Increase from 2019

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*Please see below a news release issued by the City of Burlington.

“This Council has worked hard to ensure resident input is reflected in our decision-making, that you get value for your taxes, and we continuously improve our delivery of City services. Your responses to the 2021 Community Survey show we’ve achieved that – together. Thank you! The survey also showed you get more of your information about what’s happening at the City from your Mayor and Council (34% increase). There’s been a 20% increase since the last term of Council in residents feeling their input is reflected in City decision-making. Plus 94% of you gave top marks for the City’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The consultants who conducted the survey said achieving a 95% overall satisfaction rate with City services is not easy – and they’ve done this kind of survey for hundreds of communities throughout North America. These are excellent results overall and something for all of us to be proud of. These results have only been possible by listening and working with our community, and the hard work of staff in cooperation with Council. It’s a true team achievement!” — Burlington Mayor Marianne Meed Ward

Burlington, Ont. — Jan. 19, 2022 — The results of the 2021 Community Survey are available sharing resident satisfaction with City services. The Community survey provides the City with important, statistically valid baseline data. This information will help guide future actions and decisions and helps City staff and Council better understand the opinions of Burlington residents.

The City of Burlington regularly conducts a Community Survey through a third party to uncover resident satisfaction, engagement, and communication levels. The City conducts the surveys regularly every 2-4 years, recently in 2008, 2011, 2015, 2019 and now the current survey in 2021.

In 2018, City Council standardized the process by directing staff to conduct the survey every two years. The next survey will be conducted in 2023.

The purpose of conducting the 2021 Community Survey was to:

  • Measure resident opinions about the City’s service delivery;
  • Guide future actions and decisions;
  • Monitor and benchmark progress since the 2019 Community Survey;
  • Learn opinions about taxation, transportation options; and
  • Identify and benchmark opinions regarding communications and public involvement with the City.

Overall, the results of the 2021 survey turned out highly positive across several measures, including:

  • A rating of 95% satisfaction with the overall quality of services in the City of Burlington. This rating was an increase from 2019 and is equal to the highest satisfaction rate compared to any of the previous measurements of resident satisfaction in the last 13 years;
  • 71% of respondents say they would support a tax increase to maintain current service levels;
  • Services that were identified as strengths are Fire Services, parks, sports fields and trails and festivals and events;
  • Gains were made in all areas of community engagement, questions asked about having enough opportunities to provide input, the City’s ability to engage with residents, being welcoming to public opinion in decision-making, using public input in decision making and decisions made reflect the voice of the majority of residents. There were sharp increases in these areas in 2019 compared to 2015 and 2021 continues to see positive growth;
  • There was substantial growth of 34% of those indicating that they currently find out about city programs, services and initiatives from their ward councillor or mayor;
  • When asked an open-ended question – “what is the one issue you feel should receive the greatest attention from your Mayor and members of Council?”, the most frequent responses were around growth, especially in the downtown related to high rises and the implications it might have on traffic congestion/traffic lights and transportation. This was followed by affordable housing/homelessness/poverty (this was mentioned 10% of the time vs 3% of the time in 2019) and economic development and infrastructure. Other common issues include parks/nature/paths, public transportation, COVID-19 and climate change; and
  • Parking management, bylaw enforcement, transit service are the top three areas for primary consideration that were deemed very important and are considered primary opportunities for the City to consider.

“We appreciate residents taking the time to provide this critical feedback. Public input is important to the work we do every day to deliver City services. Information gathered in this survey will be used in guiding the development of communication initiatives and public involvement programs on City issues, so we are especially pleased to see increased resident satisfaction when it comes to communications and engagement.  The survey will also help inform City business plan updates and provide benchmarking and performance indicators.” — Kwab Ako-Adjei, Director of Corporate Communications & Engagement, City of Burlington

Quick Facts:

  • The 2021 Community Survey engagement started the week of Sept. 13, 2021. Burlington residents were called by random selection and asked the same questions. The survey closed on Oct. 15, 2021.
  • The goal in 2021 was to complete 750 interviews/surveys, with 125 completed interviews/surveys per ward. The total reached was 755 completed interviews/surveys. 755 Burlington residents were randomly selected and interviewed using either a residential landline or cell phone number.
  • Understanding the opinions of any given municipality requires a scientific sample if the goal is to extrapolate the results to the entire population.  Meaning that, theoretically, everyone in the population must have an equal probability of being selected.  Political polling has been conducted using this methodology for decades, and it is recognized as the gold standard for market research. For the City of Burlington 2021 Community Survey, a scientific sample was conducted with 755 members of the population producing results that have a maximum margin of error of +/-3.6% and are repeatable 19 times out of 20.  These results are highly accurate in representing Burlington’s total population, given that a stratified sampling plan was used to represent the community by age, gender, and ward.  The sample size used for Burlington is on the higher side of the sampling range for projects of this type across the country, with typical sample sizes ranging from 300-800.
  • Given the level of accuracy used for this survey, increasing the sample size (number of interviews) would not provide any measurable benefit and would not change the concluded findings.
  • The City typically conducts Community Surveys every 2-4 years.  The most recent community surveys were completed in 2008, 2011, 2015 and 2019.
  • In addition to resident satisfaction, the last two community surveys (2015 and 2019) included asking residents questions regarding communications and engagement with the City. The 2019 survey had some new additions including questions about property taxes, issue identification and transit and transportation.

Links and Resources:

*Posted by John Bkila, Mayor’s Media and Digital Communications Specialist

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