No Census in 2017
There will be no Town of Strathmore Census in 2017. Instead the town will likely conduct an in-house citizen survey.
The issue of a possible census was discussed at a Town of Strathmore committee of the whole meeting held on March 8.
Members of the committee discussed the cost effectiveness for the town to conduct a census so soon after the 2016 federal census.
Council voted to not hold a census in 2017 and that the funds for the census be put aside in 2018.
Council also asked administration to provide a report detailing citizen survey questions, and that the questions are to come back before council at a meeting in May at a committee of the whole meeting for discussion.
Timelines for the citizen survey are to be discussed at the next regular meeting of town council.
During the regular town council meeting on March 1 the town agreed to discuss the issue at the March 8 committee of the whole meeting. One item of consideration was if the town could recoup funds spent to rent software used to perform the census.
Initially, at that meeting staff recommended that April 1 be set as the date for the town’s census and that administration conduct a citizen survey in conjunction with the census.
In 2015 the town conducted a citizen survey. During the March 1 meeting, councillor Bob Sobol raised the issue of the town having a census only one year after a federal census and of a new council being formed as 2017 is a municipal election year.
“I think we should be waiting a year for this, to give the new council time to come up with questions,” said Sobol.
Staff explained that the town has not been very consistent with the amount of census’ they conduct. A census was completed in 2015, but not in 2016 because of the federal census.
Councillor Denise Peterson said it would be good to include the topic of when to conduct a census, in the town’s strategic planning. It was noted that in 2014 the town’s census resulted in increased funding for libraries.