The online Citizen Budget Survey did not garner a significant response from the public, but Courtenay council has nevertheless heeded comments submitted about city services.
Just 77 people responded to the first survey in 2014. A third questionnaire that ran last November to January garnered 133 responses — about 0.5 per cent of Courtenay’s population.
Because of the small sample size, Coun. Doug Hillian feels the comments are not overly helpful in terms of providing council with policy direction. Still, he notes a significant number of respondents are not convinced that Courtenay needs a new fire hall on the east side of town. He also notes concerns about transportation.
The City paid Open North $4,686 to produce the survey for a three-year period.
Most respondents (36 per cent) from the 2014 survey gave transportation a ‘fairly poor value’ rating. Protective services, recreation, water and sewer, waste collection and property taxes/user fees garnered a higher number of favourable responses.
Hillian feels there was a “misimpression” among respondents that City Hall is over-staffed.
Maintaining infrastructure drew the largest response about top issues that should receive the most attention.