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Metro Vancouver Poll-Annual Citizens Assessment of Coquitlam city council  May 01, 2008

Methodology-This ROBBINS poll of 500 residents of the city of Coquitlam between April 23-29, 2008 was conducted by drawing a single sample of size ‘n’ from the greater population-an inference of outcome of a sample to overall population-and from consideration of the central limit theorem which states “that the distribution of proportions from many samples of the same size is approximately a normal distribution”-and that “the mean of this distribution is the true proportion for the entire population”. This central limit theory suggests that nor only is the sampling distribution approximately normal with the true population proportion as its mean, but also its standard deviation is approximately 1/(2 times the square root of ‘n’). This ‘margin of error’ (normally 95% confidence is calculated as margin of error) = 1 over square root of ‘n’ (where ‘n’ is the size of the sample)-19 times out of 20—95%. ROBBINS has its own proprietorial method of distinguishing further or impression of the competency of the responses based on the nature of the questions asked. For a poll of this size—500 respondents where ‘n’ is 500 people, the margin of error is thus calculated as 1/the square root of ‘n’ or 1/the square root of 500 which equals .045 or 4.5% margin of error.

Question #1
In your opinion which of the following choices for response BEST reflects how you would rate the performance of Coquitlam mayor and city council?
Good    26 %
Fair    42 %
Poor    06 %
I am not interested in Coquitlam mayor and city council    26 %
I have no opinion    08 %
Question #2
Currently, city administrators (city managers) are powerful, highly paid, unelected persons. In your opinion should city managers be made to be more accountable to the public and taxpayer’s by compelling them to run for election every 3 years like the mayor and city councillors must do?
Yes (amended from original)    72 %
No (amended from original)    21 %
Question #3
Do you AGREE or DISAGREE with the following statement: I am very satisfied with the performance of Coquitlam’s mayor and city council?
AGREE    25 %
DISAGREE    64 %
Undecided (amended from original)    10 %
Clearly, the news from this ROBBINS annual public opinion assessment of Coquitlam mayor and city council is not good. Only one out of four respondents is willing to grade mayor and city council as “Good” or their performance as “Very Satisfying” (sic).
The highest number of respondents assess the performance as “Fair”-with the vast majority of these respondents saying they DISAGREE with the statement-that they are “Very Satisfied’ with their performance. City managers have a problem on their hands. The population wants them to run for election. The minority who responded “No” to question #2 were of the mind that another elected person simply increases the need for bureaucracy and more tax dollars-however the majority are of the opinion that “anything that will force them to change their behaviour and be accountable-I’m for”. The overwhelming (and somewhat surprising) numbers in favour of city managers (particularly female respondents) being elected sends a strong message to those individuals who may or may not have deplorable records from say places like Whitehorse to quit strutting around-acting like they are accountable to no-one-AND to elected officials who respondents feel from federal, provincial and here in Coquitlam who conduct themselves like they are part of some Club Elite-“you can pay but you got no say.”
The people pay your wages and they aren’t happy with your performance going into an election season.
When I telephone Coquitlam City Manager Pete Steblin to ask a question about a city council decision (having lived here for going on two decades)-tell him my address-inform him that I am a citizen residing in Coquitlam—and he responds “why I am talking to you?” than you can be sure someone or some people need the heavy boot of ROBBINS clearly planted on their rear end.
These numbers bear out the fact that the rest of the city is thinking pretty much along the same line-and why ROBBINS finds it necessary to take that lonely walk up to the Tower with his Daisycutter in tow.
Mayor and city council have the citizens confused. They don’t have any idea of what the vision is for the city, what priorities are---and get a sense of “Keystone Cops” type of management. Who is responsible is ultimately everyone on city council from Mayor Wilson on through the rest of city councillors.
Less than one fourth of respondents who characterize the performance of Mayor and City Council as “Good” were male. Male respondents were also more inclined to characterize their assessment of performance in question #1 as having “no interest in mayor and city council”, yet nearly all respondents who selected this choice, made a selection in question #2 which was not “undecided”-and most DISAGREED with the suggestion that they are “Very Satisfied” from question #2. Mayor Wilson in our professional opinion is thus exposed to a challenge from a male candidate for Mayor who is not linked to the present BC Liberal government-like Richard Stewart for instance-where negative accountability issues are flowing down to the municipal level.
City councillors looking for re-election will need to carefully consider who they feel is most responsible for this rather lukewarm response from citizens of Coquitlam-and look to distinguish themselves as more accountable-or simply hope that few vote-and those that do choose them as incumbents.
For our money running as Independent types is the best way to go.
A recent satisfaction of CUPE wage demands may make CUPE or union workers happy with government—but the rest of the City, clearly identified in this scientific sampling-are not very happy at all-with tax time coming forward.
ROBBINS will be watching very closely for another repeat of any ‘puff poll’ from outside parties determined to show a salted version of public opinion on city council designed to smooth the way at tax collection time.
We have made a concerted effort to document this poll well above any legal standard by any court of competent jurisdiction.

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