Spa­niard’s Bay hir­ing MEO

Town hir­ing a mu­nic­i­pal en­force­ment of­fi­cer

The Compass - - FRONT PAGE - BY NI­CHOLAS MERCER nmercer@cbn­com­

Fol­low­ing in the foot­steps of nearby com­mu­ni­ties like Bay Roberts, Car­bon­ear and Pla­cen­tia, the Town of Spa­niard’s Bay has plans to hire a mu­nic­i­pal en­force­ment of­fi­cer on a trial ba­sis. Town of­fi­cials be­lieve the time is right to hire an MEO.

Spa­niard’s Bay Mayor Tony Men­chions be­lieves his town is ready to have its own mu­nic­i­pal en­force­ment of­fi­cer (MEO).

With plenty of de­vel­op­ment - residential and com­mer­cial - cur­rently go­ing on in the Conception Bay North com­mu­nity, the mayor is sure the time is now for the town to have some­one check­ing in on er­rant per­mits and stop­work or­ders.

“We’re get­ting down to the nitty gritty now,” said Men­chions. “It has come to the point where we’ve got to go that route.”

He pointed to the bur­geon­ing Vet­eran’s Power Cen­tre be­ing pieced to­gether by Kar­wood be­tween Spa­niard’s Bay and Til­ton, as well as an in­crease in hous­ing de­vel­op­ment as rea­sons be­hind the de­sire to add the po­si­tion to the town’s sta­ble of em­ploy­ees.

The idea be­hind hir­ing a mu­nic­i­pal en­force­ment of­fi­cer for Spa­niard’s Bay is not a new one. Men­chions joined the coun­cil in 2005 and he said the is­sue was on the ta­ble then.

How­ever, it kept get­ting pushed back. Ev­ery cou­ple of years, it would resur­face and get dis­cussed around the ta­ble.

“(Coun­cil of the day) left it alone and it was brought up nu­mer­ous times af­ter,” said Men­chions.

The is­sue again came to the fore­front last month when the town des­ig­nated a com­mit­tee of its coun­cil­lors to look into the ben­e­fits as well as other fac­tors such as cost. Spa­niard’s Bay would look at em­ploy­ing an of­fi­cer on a trial ba­sis.

“When ev­ery­thing kicks into gear on the hill, you’re go­ing to need some­body to make sure the build­ings and ev­ery­thing is be­ing done to the cor­rect spec­i­fi­ca­tions,” said Men­chions.

Bay Roberts, Pla­cen­tia and Car­bon­ear have em­ployed full­time en­force­ment of­fi­cers for sev­eral years.

“We’re not sure on the cost of hir­ing the of­fi­cer,” said Men­chions. “We’re still feelt­ing that part out.

“It is go­ing to be a good ser­vice for the town. It’ll help keep track of ev­ery­thing.”

The mayor be­lieves the hir­ing of a MEO will help ease the bur­den be­ing felt by other town em­ploy­ees as they deal with du­ties nor­mally as­so­ci­ated with that po­si­tion.

“A lot of the times, they’re taken away from their du­ties,” said Men­chions.


The role of a mu­nic­i­pal en­force­ment of­fi­cer in the town will vary. They’d be re­quired to mon­i­tor se­cu­rity ar­eas, pa­trol the town, han­dle the de­liv­ery of reg­is­tered letters and com­pli­ance or­ders, con­duct site in­spec­tions and di­rect traf­fic when nec­es­sary.

The of­fi­cer would also need to main­tain first-aid and work with the RCMP when needed, amongst a host of other du­ties.

“They’ll be more than a de­vel­op­ment of­fi­cer,” said Men­chions. “I can see leg­is­la­tion down the road to en­force fines and give tick­ets.”

Re­gion­al­iza­tion is all of the talk at the mu­nic­i­pal level these days. There are plenty of towns look­ing to share cer­tain ser­vices as a way to cut back on the bot­tom line.

Right now, Spa­niard’s Bay isn’t look­ing at shar­ing the cost of an MEO. They’ll take the po­si­tion on for a year and then re-eval­u­ate. Men­chions said they haven’t ruled out of­fer­ing to share the po­si­tion with neigh­bour­ing towns.

“I can see other towns com­ing on board and help­ing out with the cost,” said Men­chions. “We’re not clos­ing any doors on co-op­er­a­tion.”


Spa­niard’s Bay Mayor Tony Men­chions

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