New en­force­ment of­fi­cer gets green light from coun­cil

The Compass - - EDITORIAL OPINION - BY BILL BOW­MAN

The Car­bon­ear town coun­cil has ap­proved an ap­pli­ca­tion for the mu­nic­i­pal en­force­ment of­fi­cer’s po­si­tion.

Coun­cil’s hir­ing com­mit­tee had rec­om­mended the ap­pli­cant for the job.

The mo­tion to ap­prove the ap­pli­cant for hire, which had been passed at a June 6 priv­i­leged meet­ing, was rat­i­fied at last week’s reg­u­lar pub­lic meet­ing held June 20.

Coun­cil would not dis­close the iden­tity of the suc­cess­ful can­di­date be­cause the per­son had not of­fi­cially ac­cepted the town’s of­fer.

The new en­force­ment of­fi­cer will re­place Ron Gal­lant, who re­tired from that po­si­tion ear­lier this year af­ter 13 years on the job.

The new of­fi­cer will be re­spon­si­ble for en­forc­ing all mu­nic­i­pal reg­u­la­tions and poli­cies, in­clud­ing an­i­mal con­trol.

Igor dam­age

Deputy mayor Ches Ash told coun­cil a small sec­tion of Clarke’s Road dam­aged by Hur­ri­cane Igor last Septem­ber is still in need of some mi­nor re­pairs.

Coun­cil was aware of the dam­age, but ap­par­ently there was some ques­tion as to whether or not the dam­aged area may be on pri­vate land as part of a drive­way.

The area in ques­tion is at the west end of Clarke’s Road near a park­ing lot for a pri­vate busi­ness.

Coun­cil had al­ready used a lot of Class A stone to re­pair Clarke’s Road, but ap­par­ently the re­pairs stopped about 50-60 feet short of the end of the road.

Main­tain­ing the area in ques­tion is “not on pri­vate prop­erty,” Ash said. “ If it was a pri­vate road, I wouldn’t even bring up the mat­ter. I’m not talk­ing about con­struct­ing a road. I’m not talk­ing about go­ing on pri­vate prop­erty,” the deputy mayor said. “But for the sake of a cou­ple of hours work and half a load of Class A.”

Mayor Sam Slade agreed: “ The cost would be very min­i­mal and I don’t see why it can’t be done.”

Coun­cil also agreed a mo­tion was not nec­es­sary to have the work car­ried out. They asked op­er­a­tions and pub­lic works di­rec­tor Brian O’Grady to check it out, and do the re­pairs us­ing up to a load of Class A, if nec­es­sary.

Search and res­cue

Coun­cil passed a mo­tion that a letter be writen to Prime Min­is­ter Stephen Harper, call­ing upon the fed­eral gov­ern­ment to re­verse the de­ci­sion to close the St. John’s Search and Res­cue Cen­tre.

Mayor Sam Slade, who is also a fish­er­man, said the is­sue came in for lengthy dis­cus­sion dur­ing a re­cent re­gional meet­ing of Mu­nic­i­pal­i­ties New­found­land and Labrador (MNL).

Mayor Slade said the im­por­tance of main­tain­ing the search and res­cue cen­tre was brought home over the week­end.

“ We lost one of our lo­cal lob­ster fish­er­men,” Slade said, re­fer­ring to an Ochre Pit Cove fish­er­man who was drowned when his boat over­turned off Bear’s Cove, Har­bour Grace the day be­fore, Sun­day, June 19.

“I think it’s very im­por­tant for us as a town to send a mes­sage, loud and clear, that this is not about money. It is about lives, and min­utes mean lives.”

Ac­cord­ing to the fed­eral gov­ern­ment, the New­found­land and Labrador re­gion has the high­est por­tion of dis­tress in­ci­dents in all of Canada. The St. John’s res­cue cen­tre alone an­nu­ally re­sponds to ap­prox­i­mately 500 in­ci­dents in­volv­ing al­most 3,000 peo­ple.

Se­niors’ apart­ment com­plex

Coun­cil ap­proved an ap­pli­ca­tion to de­velop a four-unit se­niors’ apart­ment com­plex at 75 Ade­laide Street.

The ap­proval is “sub­ject to no ob­jec­tions to the dis­cre­tionary use ad pub­lished, ... and the ap­pli­ca­tions meet­ing all other re­quire­ments of the Car­bon­ear mu­nic­i­pal plan and de­vel­op­ment reg­u­la­tions.”

The per­mit is also con­tin­gent on other ap­provals from the pro­vin­cial gov­ern­ment.

Hous­ing starts

Coun. Ed Goff noted the town has ap­proved al­most $3 mil­lion worth of build­ing per­mits so far this year.

Coun­cil had ap­proved 12 new hous­ing starts up to June 20, com­pared to 13 ($2.5 mil­lion in per­mits) up to the same date last year. Non-com­pli­ance or­ders Coun­cil has au­tho­rized the town’s ad­min­is­tra­tive staff to pro­ceed to lay charges for any non-com­pli­ance of or­ders is­sued by coun­cil.

The mo­tion cov­ers or­ders such as cleanup, de­mo­li­tion and any other or­ders is­sued by coun­cil.

Any­one who re­ceives a coun­cil or­der is usu­ally given 30 days to com­ply be­fore coun­cil pro­ceeds to Step 2, which is the lay­ing of charges.

Dur­ing dis­cus­sion of the is­sue, coun­cil­lors agreed staff should have the au­thor­ity to pro­ceed with charges with­out hav­ing to bring the case back to coun­cil for ap­proval, which only serves to de­lay the process.

Tourism

Coun. Ed Goff wanted to know, “ when do we ex­pect the tourism depart­ment to be open” for the sea­son?

Deputy mayor Ash said he un­der­stood the town’s tourist at­trac­tions would be open by July 1.

Town ad­min­is­tra­tor Cyn­thia Davis told coun­cil they were hop­ing to have ev­ery­thing open by July 4. Re­fer­ring to the Rail­way Sta­tion, the Rorke Store and the Old Post Of­fice, Davis said, “it was my un­der­stand­ing we would open all of them at the same time.”

Barely a quo­rum

Just enough mem­bers were at last week’s meet­ing to con­sti­tute a quo­rum.

Aside from Coun. Gla­dys Mercer, who has been granted a six-month leave of ab­sence, coun­cil­lors Ge­orge Butt and Betty For­ward were also ab­sent from the June 20 meet­ing, leav­ing Mayor Sam Slade, deputy mayor Ches Ash and coun­cil­lors David Kennedy and Ed Goff to make up the quo­rum.

Coun­cil has now re­cessed from its reg­u­lar sched­ule of meet­ing on the first and third Mon­day of each month. Dur­ing the sum­mer months, meet­ings will be held at the call of the chair.

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