Summerside’s entrepreneurial community appears to be generally happy with city council’s governance this year.
The Greater Summerside Chamber of Commerce has surveyed its members annually since 2015 on various aspects of business life in the city. Members are asked to rate various statements from a score of 1 to 5. The questions fall under four categories: stewardship, business environment, economic development and cost of living.
The results are compiled into a Municipal Scorecard.
Dan Kutcher, president of the chamber, and Sean Aylward, vice-president, presented the 2017 survey results at the city’s Tuesday night committee of council meeting.
Overall, the city’s score numbers for this year were positive and showed improvement over previous years, said Kutcher.
“The yardstick was moving in the right direction from 2016,” he said.
“Certainly the impression of our members is that the city is doing a better job than it was last year and the year before in terms of growing the local economy. “
Score averages are provided at the individual question level as well as for each overall category.
Stewardship, Business Development and Economic Development have all hovered either just below or above a score of 3 out of 5 since 2015, while Cost of Living has done the same at a score of 2 out of 5.
Kutcher highlighted some of the data that stood out for him. Some examples would be the business community’s desire to have a unified vision for the city that it can help promote and take to potential investors, for the city to continue to buy local whenever possible, for the city to seriously consider lowering or freezing electric rates and for the city to refrain from entering an area where it would be a direct competitor with private business.
Every councillor and Mayor Bill Martin took time to address the scorecard.
Councillors thanked the chamber for their work and several noted that the scorecard showed positive results, while also highlighting areas for improvement.
However, some councillors also wondered out loud if a scorecard, worded as it is, is the best way for the chamber members to give feedback to council.