The idea of hiring a bylaw enforcement officer was revisited by O’Leary council during its Nov. 10 meeting.
Councillor Kevin Maynard brought up some issues the town has been dealing with in regard to some residences and properties within the town. He feels it’s a good time to check in on the idea.
“At last month’s meeting we mentioned this, the person who has the roosters, and chickens, and everything else growing in their backyard, and stuff like that,” he said.
O’Leary is the second town in West Prince to consider this option within the last several months. The Town of Alberton discussed the matter during its July 12 meeting.
The issue had been proposed by Alberton in 2019. The idea was the officer would split their time between Alberton, O’Leary, Tignish, and Tyne Valley. While the latter three communities had expressed interest in the idea, they ultimately decided against it.
Alberton council revisited the idea following a spate of vandalism in the town, which saw security cameras smashed at the Stone Station Park, along with damage to its fences, and boards broken at the bleachers of the town’s baseball field.
Along with being able to enforce a town’s bylaws, the officer would have the training in knowing how to safely handle a situation if a resident were to become hostile. This in turn means staff like the chief administrative officer (CAO) would remain safe, as they would not be put in those situations.
“That’s a huge expectation for any CAO to be able to administer, to go out and comfortably and safely manage that kind of stuff,” said Councillor Darren MacKinnon. “I don’t know if I would feel comfortable.”
Safety is also a concern for O’Leary mayor Eric Gavin. He noted how some residents have been more aggressive in their response when approached about potential bylaw infractions.
Alberton mayor David Gordon is pleased with O’Leary council’s decision, and believes his council would be receptive to the idea.
“It makes the job of the administrators and council that much easier, because if you’ve got a bylaw enforcement officer, they (the CAO) can just draw the paperwork up so they (the enforcement officer) can serve them,” he said. “If you see an enforcement officer car around, people are abide by the bylaws.”
To ensure a Bylaw Enforcement Officer will be able to fully and properly handle any issues they may be called to deal with, Alberton has already amended one of its bylaws, the Dangerous, Hazardous, and Unsightly Property Bylaw, while two new bylaws have been created. The first is a Nuisance and Noise Control Bylaw, while the second is an Enforcement and Summary Proceedings Bylaw. Mr Gordon said the town will also be amending a few more Alberton’s bylaws as well.
O’Leary’s CAO, Bev Shaw, believes some of O’Leary’s bylaws will need to be updated as well. She will be looking into the matter further on behalf of the town.