Crime, safety and homelessness in Duncan are becoming increasingly important issues for the city’s citizens.
According to the results of the city’s 2019 citizen satisfaction survey, the third in recent years, 44 per cent indicated that these issues are considered the most important ones currently facing the city; up considerably from 27 per cent in the survey in 2016, and just 19 per cent in 2014.
Respondents also gave the city a 7.6 out of 10 for its overall quality of life in the 2019 survey, 7.3 out of 10 as a place to raise children, and 7.9 as a place to retire.
The citizen satisfaction survey, conducted from March 20 to April 3 by Discovery Research, is intended to gauge resident satisfaction and priorities.
Building on the previous surveys, a random selection of 400 residents were asked by phone to assess their level of satisfaction with city services and spending priorities, as well as identify the issues affecting quality of life in Duncan.
The information is intended to help city council and staff evaluate what the city is doing well and where efforts need to be focused in the future.
In other issues polled in the survey, 27 per cent of respondents indicated they were very satisfied with the city’s services and programs, and 50 per cent said they were somewhat satisfied.
As for environmental issues, 24 per cent felt that air quality is the most important one facing the city, followed by water supply at 17 per cent and water quality at 12 per cent.
The survey showed that Duncan’s residents are divided on proposals to realign its boundaries.
The question in the citizen’s survey asked whether residents support exploring the costs and benefits of moving the northern boundaries of the city further into North Cowichan, or do they support considering moving the southern boundaries of the city into electoral areas of the Cowichan Valley Regional District south of the Cowichan River; or both.
The survey indicated that 38 per cent of respondents support exploring the option of moving the city’s northern border, and 36 per cent would support exploring moving the southern border.
Almost one-third of respondents are not sure about moving either boundary, and about another one-third would not support moving boundaries.
The survey will be tabled at the next Duncan council meeting on May 6.