Summary of Key Findings
Overall, most citizens have a positive perception of Fredericton, agreeing that the City is innovative, successful and vibrant, the economy is strong and that the City is moving forward in terms of growth and development. They also feel safe in the City and view it as a good or an excellent place to live.
From an employment perspective, the outlook is slightly less positive, with 45 per cent of respondents expressing some concern about getting a good job in Fredericton. That said, residents are positive regarding future economic growth and development for the city. Continued promotion in this area is important with one-third of citizens (34 per cent) saying it is the most important issue facing the city in the next five years.
Satisfaction with Services and City Performance
For the most part, citizens are satisfied with the services and programs provided by municipal departments. They feel Police and Fire do a good job keeping the community safe - 90 per cent and 97 per cent respectively. There is some dissatisfaction with patrols on City trails.
Residents are highly satisfied with the work done by Engineering and Public Works, especially in the areas of garbage collection (95 per cent), water and sewer (93 per cent), and clean up efforts (89 per cent). Numbers for garbage collection and water and sewer are slightly higher than in 2005. Dissatisfaction is greatest for snow removal on sidewalks and streets, and street maintenance.
Almost two-thirds of respondents said Development Services is doing a good or excellent job promoting the arts community (62 per cent), promoting the City as a tourist destination (62 per cent), and preserving the City's historic buildings (59 per cent). These numbers are up slightly over 2005. Performance ratings were lowest for bylaw enforcement, especially when it came to animal and noise control.
The news from the Community Services Department is trails, trails, trails. A total of 86 per cent of residents report using the City's 70-plus kilometres of trails - up from 78 per cent in 2005. Overall, most citizens (84 per cent) are satisfied with the recreational programs offered by the City.
Looking at Fredericton's new capital projects, four in ten residents have visited Willie O'Ree Place, opened in March 2007, with 92 per cent expressing strong support for the facility. Less than two in ten residents report using the new and renovated outdoor pools last summer, but again, for those who used them, their satisfaction level with the facilities was 91 per cent and 94 per cent respectively.
Approximately three-quarters of residents are aware that the City plans to build a new sports and leisure complex on the south side of the city and a new conference centre in the downtown. Support for these facilities is strong: 88 per cent for the sports and leisure complex and 79 per cent for the conference centre.
A slightly fewer number are aware that the city is building a new water treatment plant (58 per cent) and fire stations (54 per cent). Support for these pieces of municipal infrastructure is extremely high, however, with a support rating 96 per cent and 95 per cent respectively.
Green is on the minds of Frederictonians. Approximately two-thirds, or 67 per cent, of residents are aware of the City "Green Matters" campaign to reduce corporate and community greenhouse gas emissions by 2010, with almost all of those individuals (96 per cent) expressing support for the initiative.
Contact with the City
One-half of citizens (50 per cent) have contacted a City department or official in the past year and these individuals are generally satisfied with the service they received. Citizens also have favourable opinions about City employees and perceive the City as a quality organization that runs efficiently and provides services fairly to all groups.
Media outlets such as newspaper, radio and television as well as friends / neighbours are the most popular means of keeping informed of the City's activities and programs. However, the use of the City of Fredericton Website has significantly increased in recent years, rising from 34 per cent in 2005 to 48 per cent in 2007.