Spike in gripes

The Glengarry News - - The Opinion Page - News

BY SCOTT CARMICHAEL

Staff Prop­erty stan­dards and yard main­te­nance com­plaints by South Glen­garry res­i­dents were up 66 per cent in 2016.

Ac­cord­ing to a brief sum­mary on by­law en­force­ment ac­tiv­i­ties pre­pared by town­ship man­ager of prop­erty stan­dards and by­law en­force­ment Gary Poupart and pre­sented at the Jan­uary 16 reg­u­lar coun­cil meet­ing, a to­tal of 113 such pub­lic griev­ances were filed last year, com­pared to 68 in 2015. One hun­dred of those have been ad­dressed and set­tled, while the re­main­ing 13 “have been ad­dressed and are ei­ther in the process of meet­ing com­pli­ance or are ready to be charged for be­ing in vi­o­la­tion,” the re­port states.

Zon­ing-re­lated com­plaints re­mained con­sis­tently low, with two be­ing re­ceived last year and three in 2015. An­i­mal con­trol re­sponded to 11 com­plaints in 2016, in­clud­ing three dog at­tacks which re­sulted in one “or­der to muz­zle” along with a fine, as well as two cau­tions be­ing is­sued. Town­ship CAO Bryan Brown ex­plained that the surge in the num­ber of com­plaints isn’t unique to South Glen­garry. “Gary’s (com­plaint-driven) ac­tiv­i­ties are much heav­ier,” said Mr. Brown.

“The com­plaint world has re­ally taken off, and not just in this mu­nic­i­pal­ity, or at this level. I was on a con­fer­ence call last week with a group from the As­so­ci­a­tion of Mu­nic­i­pal Man­agers, Clerks and Trea­sur­ers of On­tario and with CAOs all across the prov­ince, and ev­ery­body is see­ing the same trend. “For what­ever rea­son, in the last two to three years, com­plaints by the pub­lic, and it doesn’t mat­ter if it’s mu­nic­i­pal, pro­vin­cial or fed­eral gov­ern­ments, are just sky­rock­et­ing, par­tic­u­larly on so­cial me­dia,” he added. In 2014, there were 76 com­plaints – deal­ing with prop­erty stan­dards and yard main­te­nance-re­lated, zon­ing and an­i­mal con­trol is­sues. That num­ber in­creased by 18.4 per cent – to a to­tal of 90 pub­lic com­plaints – in 2015, and by 40 per cent (from 90 to 126) in 2016.

SPE­CIAL EDI­TION: Madeleine MacDon­ald, of Alexan­dria, came across this spe­cial edi­tion that was pub­lished 150 years ago. The Toronto-based news­pa­per, The Globe, the pre­cur­sor of The Globe and Mail, pub­lished July 1, 1867, Con­fed­er­a­tion Day, news of the...

BIG PRO­DUC­TION: Chris­tiane Tay­lor (Mrs. Potiphar), Doug MacKen­zie (Levi), a Glen­garry res­i­dent, re­hearse a scene from “Joseph and the Amaz­ing Tech­ni­color Dream­coat.”

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