I Elect, the citizen group that hopes to see a large number of incumbent councillors thrown out in the next Municipal Election has released the results of its attitude survey, saying it points to a high degree of dissatisfaction with the current council. Roughly 2,000 individuals participated in the online survey which was conducted over the three-month period and was open to all residents. The survey participants who were not randomly selected, but self-selected; skewed heavily to the lower city wards. 57 percent of the respondents were from wards 1 to 5, and 48 percent were from the core wards 1 through 3. Participation in the other city wards ranged from 6 percent down to two percent.
The results showed residents giving council low scores when asked about leadership, responsible use of tax dollars, transparency, innovation and climate change. Council fared better when respondents were asked about local infrastructure. People were generally happy with their ward’s share of funds allocated for local roads, and sidewalks, although not pleased with the actual condition of these assets. They were happy with local parks. Somewhat surprising, three-quarters of respondents said they felt safe walking in their neighbourhoods.
One interesting finding was in response to the statement, “Council has invested smartly in the future of Hamilton’s transit system. “Nearly 88 percent of respondents disagreed or strongly disagreed with the statement which was put to respondents after the decision by council to proceed with LRT.
The survey attracted for than 1,000 comments from participants. For each ward four or five verbatim comments were selected by survey organizers. Most of the comments talked about “lifer” council members and the need for change. The only councillors for whom positive comments were selected for posting were Councillors, Wilson, Nann, Danko and Johnson.
I elect says a more in depth analysis of the findings will be released later with assistance from McMaster University.