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2018 Public Engagement results show quality of life and satisfaction remain high

For immediate release: March 14, 2019 - 10:00am
ST19-244

The 2018 public engagement results are in and residents’ perceptions about the quality of life in Saskatoon remain strong: overall satisfaction with the quality of services and value provided by the City remain high. 

 “While there is important room to improve, the results of these surveys are very encouraging and show a strong quality of life in our community,” said Mayor Charlie Clark. “This is a testament not only to the work of City of Saskatoon employees, but also of the broader community who help to improve our community and add to the richness of Saskatoon.”

This year the City developed a more comprehensive process to gather input into the 2020-2021 Multi-Year Budget. Instead of one survey, the City developed the Civic Satisfaction & Performance Survey and the Civic Services: Performance, Priorities and Preferences Survey. Input was gathered from approximately 4,000 participants through the two surveys and community outreach activities. Findings from these engagement activities will provide Council and Administration with public input to be used to inform the 2020-2021 Multi-Year Budget.

 “More than we ever have before, the City has been emphasizing the importance of engaging and working with the community as we sort through some of the complex and important issues in a changing city and a changing world,” said Mayor Clark. “As we prepare for our first multi-year budget, this work and these surveys will be even more important as we seek to build on our strengths and meet the needs and expectations of our citizens that will serve us now and in the years to come.”

The following highlight key findings for Telephone (T) and Online Panel (OP) respondents:

2018 Civic Satisfaction & Performance Survey

The Civic Satisfaction & Performance Survey was completed June 29 to July 29, 2018, through randomly selected Telephone (n=505) and Online Panel (n=801) residents.  The margin of error for telephone is +/- 4.36% and online is +/-3.46%, 19 times out of 20.  The survey was also made available for the general public to participate (n=688).

  • Overall, residents say they are satisfied living in the city (T: 88%, OP: 85%)
  • Overall, residents feel the quality of life is good or very good (T: 85%, OP: 83%).
  • For telephone respondents, the most important issues facing the City include road construction (11%), taxes (6%) and traffic infrastructure, and public transit (5%). Although road construction is still most frequently mentioned, it has steadily decreased in importance for these respondents each year (2016: 32%, 2017: 20%). For online respondents, the most important issue facing the City is public safety/crime/policing (17%), taxes (13%) and infrastructure (8%). These results remain similar to 2017.
  • The majority are satisfied with the quality of services provided by the City (T: 86%, OP: 77%).  Telephone results are consistent with 2017, with online results decreasing by 8%.
  • Overall, residents rate the value of services they receive from the City as good/very good (T: 89%, OP: 74%). This is mostly consistent with 2017, with a 5% increase among telephone respondents.
  • The Strategic Goal indicators that received the highest ratings include: the City is effectively providing a good mix of recreation, sport and cultural facilities year round     (T: 92%, OP: 91%), the City is effectively providing online services (T: 91%, O: 88%) and Saskatoon is an inclusive and welcoming city to all (T: 86%, OP: 73%).
  • Consistent with previous years, 35% of respondents prefer a combination of both property tax and user fee increases to balance the budget.

2018 Civic Services Survey: Performance, Priorities and Preferences  

The Civic Services Survey: Performance, Priorities and Preferences was completed November 16 to December 16, 2018, through randomly selected Telephone (n=504) and Online Panel (n=800) residents. The survey was also made available for the general public to participate (n=590). The margin of error for telephone is +/- 4.37% and online is +/-3.46%, 19 times out of 20.  The survey was also made available for the general public to participate (n=688).

  • Overall satisfaction with performance remains the same or higher for almost all 29 civic services.
  • The top three services where participants reported the highest satisfaction are: reliability of electrical services (T: 8.7, OP: 8.9), quality of drinking water (T: 8.4, OP: 8.6) and Fire Protection (T: 8.4, OP: 8.4)
  • Overall, the key strengths have remained the same since 2017: reliability of electrical services, quality of drinking water, fire protection, police service, garbage collection, speed of water main break repairs and recycling.
  • The top three services where residents indicate they would like the City to provide more service include: road maintenance (T: 59%, OP: 61%), affordable housing programs (T: 54%, OP: 55%), and snow & ice management (T: 46%, OP: 52%).
  • The vast majority of residents believe that the City of Saskatoon is very/somewhat good at providing meaningful opportunities to participate in engagement activities (T: 87%, OP: 79%).  A majority also believe the City is doing very/somewhat well at using public input to help make decisions (T: 68%, OP: 55%).  

The City also conducted a variety of community outreach activities in 2018. Approximately 130 individuals participated over three events to validate the results of a selected number of questions from the survey, and to provide additional rationale for their ratings. 

Citizen input has always been an important part of the City’s business planning and budget process. Explore saskatoon.ca/engage, or view additional financial information at saskatoon.ca/budget.