County’s Approval Rating Rises In Resident Survey

County’s Approval Rating Rises In Resident Survey
Posted on 11/27/2018

The results of Saddle Hills County’s second annual resident satisfaction survey are in and, on a number of issues, the findings show a healthy increase in the level of satisfaction with the County.

Roads have been the top priority for Council and County staff. In the survey, residents recognized the efforts of Council and staff by giving double-digit increases in satisfaction for gravel road repair, summer road maintenance and winter road maintenance.

“It is good to know that residents are noticing a difference and we appreciate the positive feedback. While it’s encouraging, we know we still have a lot of work ahead of us and that roads remain the number one priority for our residents and businesses.” said Reeve Alvin Hubert of the survey results.

SnapshotAnother area of County services and programs which saw a major increase in satisfaction was solid waste management which also experienced a double-digit increase in satisfaction. The County restructured transfer stations and waste bin collections sites in recent years and added oil recycling facilities at all three transfer stations. In 2018 the County won an Alberta Recycling Award for the way it manages its transfer stations and recycling facilities.

Among the other highlights:

A majority of residents approve of the overall direction of the County. Fully 81 percent of residents who participated in the survey say they are either satisfied or very satisfied with the overall direction of the County. That is up from 76 percent of those who participated in last year’s survey. A total of 90 percent say they are satisfied with the services provided by the County, up from 85 percent in 2017.

When asked about their familiarity with the County’s Strategic Plan, 64 percent agreed with the County’s vision, 62 percent agreed with the County’s mission, and 69 percent agreed with the County’s values.

County employees were once again recognized by residents. This year 93 percent of participants said they were satisfied or very satisfied with County employees compared to 92 percent last year. The largest increase was in the ‘Very satisfied’ category.

Both cellular and internet service posted large increases when respondents were asked to rate their service at home. Internet service rose from 29 percent in 2017 to 41 percent in 2018. Cellular service increased from 25 percent to 41 percent.

Among the main factors residents said contribute positively to a high quality of life in the County residents listed roads (28%) country atmosphere (17%) and friendly, kind and good residents (14%). The three most significant factors contributing negatively to quality of life in the County were: road maintenance (27%), long distance to access services or facilities (14%), and lack of or poor cell phone service.

A full 91 percent of respondents say they are satisfied that County communications provide a general awareness and understanding of priorities, projects and initiatives undertaken by the County. In 2017, 80 percent of respondents said they were agreed or strongly agreed with the County’s communications efforts.

When asked what they thought were the most important issues facing the County, 13 percent of residents listed road maintenance and repairs as the number one issue (a drop from last year). Other issues of concern included the County budget, water supply and infrastructure expansion.

A total of 4 percent of respondents listed attracting more residents and business, growing the County’s population base, and economic growth as top priorities. Another 4 percent felt the County needs to improve its communications with residents.

For a one-page summary of the survey results click here.

For a copy of the full report click here.