Most Lower Mainland voters want the Nov. 15 civic elections to result in at least some change at their city hall, according to a new poll by Insights West.
Thirty one per cent of those surveyed in the region said it’s time for a significant change on council and appetite for change was highest in Maple Ridge/Pitt Meadows at 53 per cent and Vancouver at 36 per cent, followed by Surrey and Richmond, both at 34 per cent.
A further 35 per cent across the region want a minor change (42 per cent in the Tri Cities, 39 per cent on the North Shore and 37 per cent in Abbotsford).
But most mayors running for re-election can take solace in generally strong approval ratings from the online survey of 2,138 residents.
Outgoing Surrey Mayor Dianne Watts scored best, with a 74 per cent approval rating, while 69 per cent of Tri Cities residents generally approve of their mayors, followed by 67 per cent for Burnaby Mayor Derek Corrigan.
New Westminster, Delta and White Rock mayors also had 67 per cent approval and Abbotsford for Mayor Bruce Banman had 65 per cent.
The worst mayoral ratings were in Maple Ridge/Pitt Meadows, with 39 per cent approval to 46 per cent disapproval, and Vancouver Mayor Gregor Robertson at 52 per cent approval to 41 per cent disapproval.
“Transportation is a key area of concern in 11 municipalities, but not in Vancouver and Surrey, where housing and crime definitely dominate the agenda,” Insights West vice-president Mario Canseco said.
He said the concept of a tax on absentee property owners as one way to combat high housing prices has caught the imagination of voters in Vancouver.
Voters were also asked if developers and lobbyists have too much local influence in their municipality. Sixty-eight per cent of respondents agreed across the region and concern was highest on the North Shore at 79 per cent as well as Richmond and Langley at 75 per cent.
The survey also found 50 per cent of respondents believe their municipality does a bad job of handling transportation as well as homelessness and poverty, while most gave their municipality good marks on protecting the environment and providing good sanitation services.
The areas with the highest overall rating of residents on a scale of 1 to 10 were Tri-Cities (6.8), Burnaby (also 6.8), Delta, New Westminster and White Rock (6.6) and Abbotsford (also 6.6), followed by Surrey (6.5), the North Shore (6.4), Richmond (6.3), Vancouver (5.9), Langley City and Langley Township (5.7) and Maple Ridge and Pitt Meadows (5.5).