Towns may share enforcement officer
Could there be a new regional municipal enforcement officer heading to Conception Bay North?
If things work out, at least two towns could share an enforcement officer — Spaniard’s Bay and Harbour Grace.
In a public council meeting in Harbour Grace last month, it was confirmed councillors from there had been casually speaking to councillors from Spaniard’s Bay about sharing an enforcement officer.
Two weeks ago Spaniard’s Bay Mayor Tony Menchions and Harbour Grace Mayor Terry Barnes had a meeting to speak about the possible partnership.
Spaniard’s Bay has already begun the recruitment process for its own officer, but Menchions confirmed there’s always room for regional communication.
Although there haven’t been any formal talks with other towns, neighbouring Upper Island Cove, Bishop’s Cove and Bryant’s Cove may also be considered if a regional approach is decided for the position and they are interested.
Menchions isn’t shy about his thoughts on regionalization. In fact, he sees it becoming more apparent as the way to go for the future.
“Somewhere in the near future, all towns have to work together,” he told The Compass last week. “If all towns have to go under the same regional umbrella, so be it. All areas could certainly benefit.”
The idea of regionalization is nothing new. Examples where it’s working well is the joint mayors association of Trinity-Bay de Verde and the Bay de Grave Volunteer Fire Department. Conception Bay North also has a joint council.
“That’s not going to happen tomorrow morning,” Menchions noted. “At the end of the day it’s about what’s best for the area. Not just the town, the area.”
Right now Spaniard’s Bay is continuing to recruit a municipal enforcement officer without partnerships, but that could potentially change.
Spaniard’s Bay town manager Tony Ryan confirmed this.
“We are open to discussing this position with neighbouring communities as a regional enforcement officer,” Ryan explained. “Spaniard’s Bay is proceeding with it in any case. “
The only definite stipulation Ryan put on the idea of a partnership would be cost sharing.
“The thing that immediately comes to mind is that all associated costs with the position, should it be regionalized, must be shared in an equitable fashion,” he noted. Menchions echoed that. Over 30 applications came in to Spaniard’s Bay for the position from all over the island, different parts of the country and even outside Canada in one case.
As of last week, there were four candidates chosen for interviews. The decision will be made in the coming weeks.
If a partnership were to happen, it would be too late for Harbour Grace to be a part of the hiring process.
In the Harbour Grace meeting, the council members seemed interested in starting this partnership. The Compass reached out to Mayor Terry Barnes, but messages were not returned.
Other towns in Conception Bay North with enforcement officers are the Town of Bay Roberts and the Town of Carbonear, where those duties are handled respectively by Perry Bowering and Gord Parsons.
Spaniard’s Bay Mayor Tony Menchions is open to the idea of a regional municipal enforcement office, sharing with Harbour Grace and possibly other municipalities.