There was some angst and handwringing at an special meeting of council held on July 30 as Keremeos council and staff tried to make sense of the 2012 Citizen Survey results.
Councillor Evans noted that many of the issues brought forward in the survey dealt with matters that council had no control over, whereas Councillor Arlow expressed a desire to be “out there more” and to be more visible.
Councillor Gary Thielmann felt residents may not be aware of who the councillors were, in failing to recognize their presence at community events.
He expressed a desire to initiate an education process that would attempt to teach residents the role of council and costs associated with ratepayer requests for additional services.
Mayor Bauer reminded councillors to wear their name tags when attending official functions, also noting that many request made in the survey would result in higher taxes if implemented.
Council agreed that they would work to make improvements in the areas of concern noted by residents, it being noted at the same time that the survey results accounted for a mere 29 per cent of eligible households, some of whom only answered select questions.
Village staff also agreed to hold a meeting to review the results, with both council and staff indicating a desire to continue looking for ways to improve their services to the public.
Following the discussion, Mayor Bauer argued that council did not need to make any immediate motions regarding the survey, but at the insistence of Councillor Arlow, a motion to include a similar survey in next year’s budget was made, which passed by a majority of four to one, Bauer opposed.