In order to spark interest in this year’s municipal election, PR Voices volunteers have been knocking on doors in all four Powell River neighbourhoods conducting a community values survey. The survey questions were drawn from Powell River’s Sustainability Charter and feedback we got on our test survey.
In all, we collected 680 responses to the survey, mostly from going door-to-door but also from conducting the survey at community events and from people filling out the survey on our web site. Of these responses, we were able to use 550 surveys, eliminating duplicate responses, those with no names or addresses, and those from outside of the city limits.
What Survey Participants Said
There was strong overall support – between 73 and 98% – for the values listed in our survey. In terms of whether City Council has done a good job in acting on these values, on average 21% agreed, 40% disagreed, but almost 40% said they were undecided or didn’t know. To fill that gap, PR Voices researched Council votes that were related to the values people said were important. The voting record of current councillors is posted at: prvoices.org/reports, along with responses we got from a questionnaire sent to all the new candidates for City Council.
We also asked people we surveyed what they thought the most important issues are in Powell River. Job creation, environmental protection, ferry cuts, the new library, and sewage co-treatment with Catalyst were the top five issues people mentioned.
Increasing Voter Turnout
Nearly everyone we surveyed said they intended to vote in this year’s municipal election. PR Voices will send out reminders to survey participants on voting day with the voting locations. Let’s all commit to ensuring that in this municipal election, voter turnout represents a majority of Powell River’s eligible voters!
Original Survey Questions
1. Citizen Involvement
For you personally, citizen involvement in the city’s decisions should be encouraged and Council meetings should be open as possible to the public.
2. Resilient Economy
For you personally, it is important that Powell River diversify its economy.
3. Local Agriculture
For you personally, it is important to support local agriculture in Powell River.
4. Our Environment
For you personally, conserving resources, addressing climate change and reducing waste are all important goals.
5. Fair taxes
For you personally, municipal taxes could be more fair to middle and low income taxpayers and small businesses.
6. Protecting public services
For you personally, it is important that city services be kept public in order to ensure they are under citizen control.
7. Support for arts, recreation, and culture
For you personally cultural and recreational organizations are important to the quality of life we enjoy in Powell River.
8. Health, environment, and jobs
For you personally, it is important to judge economic development on how it affects human health and the environment.
JOIN THE CONVERSATION!
For you personally, what are the most important issues that need to be addressed in Powell River?