Bylaw en­force­ment con­fer­ence staged in Bay Roberts

Lo­cal of­fi­cer says calls have ‘tripled’ in less than a decade

The Compass - - COMPASS - BY TERRY ROBERTS THE COM­PASS

Com­plaints about al­leged vi­o­la­tions of mu­nic­i­pal by­laws in the Town of Bay Roberts have surged in re­cent years, says the man re­spon­si­ble for en­forc­ing those reg­u­la­tions.

Perry Bow­er­ing has served as the town’s lone mu­nic­i­pal en­force­ment of­fi­cer for eight years, and his job has changed dra­mat­i­cally dur­ing this pe­riod.

“It’s broader and more com­plex than when I first started,” Bow­er­ing stated. “It’s a dif­fer­ent job.”

Bow­er­ing is sens­ing that in­stead of talk­ing with one an­other, neigh­bours will call the town to sort out is­sues such as land dis­putes, noise com­plaints or roam­ing an­i­mals.

He be­lieves that’s to be ex­pected for a town that is grow­ing at the pace be­ing set by Bay Roberts, where hun­dreds of new homes have been built in re­cent years. Un­like in the past, neigh­bours are not al­ways known to each other, and this means his phone is ring­ing more of­ten.

“The calls have tripled,” Bow­er­ing stated. “There seems to be more con­flict.

“Neigh­bours don’t want to speak. At least that’s what I find.”

Bow­er­ing gave that as­sess­ment dur­ing the open­ing day of the 22nd an­nual con­fer­ence of the At­lantic Bylaw Of­fi­cers’ As­so­ci­a­tion (ABOA), which was held in Bay Roberts from June 17-19.

It was just the sec­ond time the as­so­ci­a­tion had staged its yearly meet­ing in New­found­land and Labrador, with Gan­der serv­ing as host in 2007.

Just un­der 50 del­e­gates from At­lantic Canada and On­tario trav­elled to Con­cep­tion Bay North for the con­fer­ence, which tack­led top­ics such as in­ter­view­ing skills, firearms aware­ness, com­mu­ni­ca­tions, an­i­mal con­trol and self­de­fence.

Bow­er­ing is pres­i­dent of the New­found­land and Labrador Mu­nic­i­pal Po­lice As­so­ci­a­tion, and is a di­rec­tor with ABOA.

He lob­bied to have the con­fer­ence in Bay Roberts, and pointed out that mem­ber­ship in ABOA from this prov­ince is grow­ing steadily.

Bow­er­ing said it’s ap­par­ent that many towns, in­clud­ing Bay Roberts and Car­bon­ear, are in­vest­ing more re­sources into mu­nic­i­pal en­force­ment, and that is show­ing it­self in the form of bet­ter tech­nol­ogy, en­hanced train­ing and more strin­gent qual­i­fi­ca­tions.

That’s a view shared by the pres­i­dent of ABOA, Grace Broszyn­ska, who is a bylaw en­force­ment of­fi­cer with the mu­nic­i­pal­i­ties of King’s County and An­napo­lis County in Nova Sco­tia.

Not long ago, she said, en­force­ment of­fi­cers were shuf­fled off to a dark cor­ner of the mu­nic­i­pal build­ing, and largely over­looked and un­der­val­ued. And there of­ten wasn’t much em­pha­sis on ed­u­ca­tion and ex­pe­ri­ence dur­ing the hir­ing process. Not any longer, she said. “The pro­file and cal­i­bre of the en­force­ment of­fi­cer has in­creased be­cause of higher qual­i­fi­ca­tions and con­fer­ences like this,” she said.

She pointed to a new cer­ti­fi­ca­tion pro­gram that was es­tab­lished a year ago.

She added that en­force­ment of­fi­cers are hav­ing to be more cre- ative when it comes to set­tling dis­putes or al­leged bylaw in­frac­tions in or­der to avoid costly court ac­tion.

“We are do­ing our best to be more ef­fec­tive and ef­fi­cient with re­sources,” she ex­plained.

edi­tor@cb­n­com­pass.ca

The an­nual con­fer­ence of the At­lantic Bylaw Of­fi­cers’ As­so­ci­a­tion (ABOA) got un­der­way in Bay Roberts June 17 with nearly 50 del­e­gates in at­ten­dance. Among the mu­nic­i­pal en­force­ment of­fi­cers on hand were, from left, David Brettell ( Wolfville, NS), Gord Par­sons (Car­bon­ear), Perry Bow­er­ing (Bay Roberts) and Jeff Grif­fin (Pla­cen­tia). The con­fer­ence con­cluded on Wed­nes­day, June 19.

Wes Earle (cen­tre) of Earle’s Taek­wondo in Bay Roberts looks on as mu­nic­i­pal bylaw en­force­ment of­fi­cers Kelly Ash (left) and Danielle His­cock prac­tice self-de­fence tech­niques dur­ing a train­ing ses­sion June 19. Ash works for the Mu­nic­i­pal­ity of East Hants, Elms­dale, NS, while His­cock is em­ployed by the City of Mount Pearl. Both were del­e­gates at the 22nd an­nual con­fer­ence of the At­lantic Bylaw Of­fi­cers’ As­so­ci­a­tion (ABOA), which was held in Bay Roberts last week.

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