Surveying city council
We did not do a statistical analysis of our online poll regarding the performance of city council. Therefore, we make no official claims as to its accuracy.
However, for us, the survey contained no real surprises.
There is a certain level of dissatisfaction in the community with what city council is doing. Part of that comes from the core services review, which will, by its very nature, create controversy. Part of the dissatisfaction comes from the campaign promises of getting things in order at city hall only to see yet another tax hike. And part of the dissatisfaction stems from the controversies council has managed to mire itself in … Haldi area rezoning, the Brian Skakun fiasco, the mayor’s gaffe about golf being a dying sport when trying to rationalize selling the Pine Valley Golf Course, etc.
The results of our survey, while not statistically verified, we believe are a reflection of the mood we’re seeing in the community when it comes to city council.
And council members will likely summarily dismiss our survey, just as they did with their own survey. We would like to point out a couple of things though: We garnered almost twice as many responses as the city survey regarding services it provides and, we ensured that only one vote was allowed per IP address. While not foolproof in terms of only allowing each person to take the survey once, it does limit them to how many computers they have access to.
We suppose, for example, that someone at, say, city hall could run around to every computer and take our poll in an attempt to skew the results, but, seriously, we don’t believe that would actually happen.
In terms of surveys, 476 responses isn’t an ideal number of responses, but it’s not bad. There are lots of polls published these days with far less of a sampling.
As for the results themselves, as mentioned, the results are not surprising. Mayor Shari Green and finance committee chair Cameron Stolz are often front-and-centre when it comes to issues, so it is no surprise that they are not the darlings of the public. It is somewhat surprising though, as to how low their approval ratings were, particularly the mayor, for whom a large percentage said she’s out of step with their views.
The other councillor who has had his name in the news a lot, Brian Skakun, has a reasonable good approval rating. However, his numbers were interesting in that a lot of people marked his performance as excellent and a similar amount marked him as poor. No surprise, people either love him or hate him.
In our survey, we also asked people what they thought about some of the issues that have come before city council recently. Look for those results in Friday’s Prince George Free Press.