Just happy to be here

Just one day before Red Deer gets its annual Vital Signs report card, city officials have released results of a poll stating that most people think it’s a great place to live.

Just one day before Red Deer gets its annual Vital Signs report card, city officials have released results of a poll stating that most people think it’s a great place to live.

Mayor Morris Flewwelling and city manager Craig Curtis released on Monday results of an Ipsos Reid survey conducted for the City of Red Deer in August.

At noon today, the Red Deer Community Foundation was to release results of its third-annual Vital Signs report, part of a nationwide program that gauges public perceptions in 12 key areas, including education, health, environmental protection and crime prevention.

For the City of Red Deer poll, Ipsos Reid phoned 300 residents to ask their feelings about factors including their quality of life, the value they receive for their tax dollars and the most important issues they feel the city is facing.

Respondents were also asked about the quality of services they receive from the city, alternative ways for the city to raise money, information they feel the city should provide and the number of times they visit the city’s website.

In general, the results show that 94 per cent of people who live in Red Deer feel good or very good about their quality of life.

The rest cited varying reasons for giving a lower rating, including crime, infrastructure issues and lack of work.

Crime topped the list of issues that respondents generally rated to be most pressing, followed by transportation, social concerns and taxation levels.

Flewwelling said in a prepared statement issued with the poll results that he finds it “promising” that so many citizens gave a high rating to their quality of life in Red Deer.

Curtis, in the same release, said the city performs a balancing act in maintaining quality of service and infrastructure within a reasonable level of taxation.

“We need to manage the needs of citizens and our fiscal responsibility. This is especially true now when the economy is not as robust as it was. Residents want to be sure they are getting good value for their tax dollars,” he said.

Results of the survey are used to help city officials stay in touch with citizens and gauge public response to policies and programs.

The margin of error for the Ipsos Reid poll is considered to be plus or minus 5.7 per cent, 19 out of 20 times.

Neither Curtis nor Flewwelling were available to comment on the poll.

bkossowan@bprda.wpengine.com