The Citizen Satisfaction Survey results were presented to Town Council during Wednesday's Town Council Meeting, and one of many topics discussed was the priorities of Strathmore residents. While all of these were related to taxes in one way or another, the types of answers were quite varied, ranging from ideas on where to spend tax dollars versus how much we're getting taxed.
The top issue for two years in a row is property taxes, with 38% of respondents feeling this is what needs to be addressed. Affordable housing also saw a significant rise from last year, which isn't too surprising when you consider the housing crisis the entire country has been under over the course of the year. This concern shouldn't be shocking news to anyone, which is why Town Council has already been taking steps to try and address the issue, most recently with garden suites.
Of the issues that have decreased, some of them could be linked to covid and the ending of mandates in 2022, as concerns like economic recovery, employment, and pandemic recovery have all taken significant decreases. Judging from the survey, it looks like there is more confidence in our economic state this year, and Covid could be a big reason why.
However, that isn't to discount other factors outside of Covid, such as the several huge investments Wheatland County has been seeing, like the De Havilland aircraft facility.
When looking at other issues, road maintenance also saw a drop, which Lachlan Milne with Framework Analytics sees as a positive.
"When something like road maintenance drops as a primary concern, that can be seen as a couple of things. One, other things have come to the forefront and it's dropped in priority relatively. Or two, it's been addressed. I know in 2021 road maintenance was very high compared to other problems, it was alarmingly high for what it was, so seeing it drop this year means:
- A, it was well addressed,
- B, things have changed,
- C, things have resolved themselves
Either way, it's less important now, which is great," said Milne.
Perhaps the biggest thing to note from this graph is that quality of life has improved in relation to 2021 in almost every category. Even though some concerns like property tax remains a consistent concern, overall people are happier to be living in Strathmore compared to last year.
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