How do we see ourselves – do we like what they are showing us; do we agree with what they are telling us?

By Pepper Parr

BURLINGTON, ON.  February 6th, 2013  So what do we think of ourselves and the way we are served by the different levels of government we pay taxes to?  Is asking these questions a good way to spend tax dollars?  Those are questions you get to ask when you vote next.

This is a listing of what Burlingtonians see as the most appealing aspects of their city.  How much do you agree with these findings?

What are the most important issues for Burlington? They are listed here and shown how what is important to us – relates to how important it is to others. We get to see how we are different. Do you agree with what the charts are telling you?

Quality of life: In Burlington the polling sample said they put us at 95% if you include Excellent and Good.  Other large and small communities don’t see themselves quite the same way.  You just KNOW that this bit of information will replace the very tired and worn – Second best city in the country to live in.

Most important thing the government does for you?  There are too many in the “Other” and “Don’t know” categories – suggests the people who pay for the government we have aren’t all that thrilled with what they are getting.

For now – look at the questions and the answers.  A well-respected Canadian company that has been doing public opinion polling for some time did a poll of Ontario communities both large and small and medium too – asking the same questions of a sample that was just under 400 people.

Experience with city staff.  Rankings in that “going the extra mile” could be a lot higher; other than that Burlington isn’t that different from the others.

Local government spending – this is where you want your tax dollars spent.  Roads are what it is all about – with transit at least being recognized.

Use of government services:  People are using the services government provides and they are talking to staff that don’t go the extra mile.  What does that tell us?

Are we getting value for our tax dollars?

If push comes to shove; did you want the city to increase taxes to pay for the services you are getting or would you rather they cut the services.  Mayor Goldring interprets this to mean that half of us would accept a tax increase and half us would not.  Tough call.

If the city found it had to cut services – this is the list they are likely to work from – it suggests the arts would take the biggest hit.

They broke out the individual results for Burlington and for the princely sum of $10,000 you get to learn what we think of ourselves.

Burlington is where we live but the Region provides very essential services: Garbage pick up, water, sewage and police services as well as social services. The Niagara GTA highway would not have been stopped in its tracks – at least for the time being were it not for solid support from the Region

City Manager Jeff Fielding sees that data as an important part of the process of engaging the community.

The results are interesting.

This is YOUR Burlington – do you see it the way the public opinion poll gauges it to be?

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