The City of Hamilton’s Our City Survey 2022 was a mixed bag in terms of public perceptions. While Most respondents agree that Hamilton is a great place to live (75%), work (70%), play (69%), and learn (83%). There was an undercurrent of opinion that the perception of quality of life has worsened in the past two years.
The city’s long-used slogan of being “the best place to raise a child and age successfully”, seems to have run its course. Only seven percent strongly agreed with the statement. The percentage of respondents who either strongly agreed or agreed has dropped from 61 percent in 2019 to 42 percent in 2022.
Respondents were taken through a list of categories and asked to provide open ended comments. Some of the more frequent comments talked about the deteriorating state of the community infrastructure. Lower taxes and better use of the existing level of taxes were commonly mentioned. On the public safety front, comments were overwhelmingly in favour of more police services, crime reduction, and increasing police services. Housing affordability was top of mind as well.
On the subject of taxation there was an overwhelming 87 percent support for lowering or maintaining tax levels at the current level. Only 13 percent wanted taxes increased in order to provide more services. This comes on the heels of council voting the largest single-year tax increase in decades.
Asked to rank satisfaction with various city services, respondents gave firefighting and libraries the highest marks at 97 and 91 percent respectively. Paramedic services, Cemeteries, Parks, Recreation, Drinking water and Police all scored in the 80’s. At the bottom of the list were roads and sidewalks at 34 percent. Social Housing was not measured but scored dead last in satisfaction in previous surveys.
People reported being generally satisfied (87 percent) with the way city staff handle their questions and issues. The city website is the most commonly used source of information at 36 percent, but when it comes to making complaints residents still prefer the phone by a wide margin.
The survey collected 1,052 phone responses. Approximately 60% of completed phone surveys were landline, and 40% were cellular. The phone surveys were conducted between November 1, 2022, and December 18, 2022, and were available in English, French. The margin of error for the total sample of 1,052 is +/-3.0%, 19 out of 20 times.
There was also an online survey where participants could self-select, but, because of that, it cannot be considered statistically reliable.
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