RMOW launching 10th annual Community Life Survey 

Residents, second homeowners will give their input via phone or web poll

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The Resort Municipality of Whistler (RMOW) wants your say in its 10th annual Community Life Survey, which launches next week.

The phone survey will poll local residents and second homeowners on municipal operations and services as well as general aspects of community life. Taken at random, the phone survey runs the week of Jan. 17th and will end when 300 full-time residents and 200 part-time residents have been interviewed.

In an effort to speak with as many residents as possible, surveyors will be contacting individuals to build up a list of cell phone numbers to include in the polling. For the first time, the RMOW will interview 200 seasonal residents in-person at select locations throughout the resort. A web survey is also slated for a future date.

“This is the tenth year that we have asked residents to participate in the Community Life Survey, and we are happy to be able to provide an option for seasonal residents, this year, to share their feedback,” said Mayor Nancy Wilhelm-Morden in a release. “Our body of research through the survey helps us to monitor community trends, as well as performance, while guiding decision-making.”

Last year’s survey showed residents continue to be happy with Whistler as a place to live, with 94 per cent of permanent residents saying they were either very or somewhat satisfied, and 98 per cent of second homeowners reporting the same.

A sticking point for many last year was parking, with only 61 per cent of respondents reporting they were very or somewhat satisfied with parking options in the resort.

Unsurprisingly, housing remained a concern last year, with 46 per cent of permanent residents calling it the most important issue facing the community — a 21-per-cent jump over the 2015 survey.

Last year, for the first time, the municipality used a computerized survey of four cities in the region — West Vancouver, the District and City of North Vancouver and New Westminster — as benchmarks for Whistler. In every measurable category, Whistler respondents were more satisfied than their Lower Mainland counterparts.

The numbers were also up when looking at municipal services; there was a 19.5-per-cent increase in satisfaction with the municipal hall building and land development services, while the RMOW’s customer service counter saw a 7.5-per-cent rise in satisfaction.

The 2017 survey will be used for “tracking service performance for the RMOW’s Corporate Plan and measuring performance towards the priorities identified in Whistler2020 Community Comprehensive Sustainability Plan,” as well as more broadly for budget planning, communication and municipal services, according to the RMOW.

The survey is being carried out by Toronto-based Forum Research Inc., which conducted the 2015 Community Life poll.

Survey results are expected to come before council sometime in the spring. Visit whistler.ca/survey for more.

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