By­law en­forcers can­not look the other way

The Glengarry News - - The Opinion Page -

The Ed­i­tor, As a long-term res­i­dent, born and raised in Glen­garry County, I know our county is a spe­cial place with spe­cial peo­ple de­serv­ing their voices to be heard and their is­sues to be hon­est, fairly and pas­sion­ately rep­re­sented. That is why, in 2018, I de­cided to run for Deputy Mayor. While I re­ceived con­sider elec­toral sup­port, for which I am truly thank­ful and ap­pre­cia­tive, it was, at that time, not suf­fi­cient.

Nev­er­the­less, I re­main in­ter­ested in and mo­ti­vated to help make a dif­fer­ence for the ben­e­fit of our county’s res­i­dents.

Re­cently many have spo­ken with me about is­sues that matter to them. I know it is im­por­tant for all of us to hold our mu­nic­i­pal of­fi­cials ac­count­able to help pro­tect the health, safety, se­cu­rity, and qual­ity of life of Glen­garry’s res­i­dents, in ac­cor­dance with the rel­e­vant by­laws. So I am speak­ing on be­half of many about the importance of en­force­ment of by­laws that helps as­sure pub­lic safety and se­cu­rity, re­solves neigh­bour­hood dif­fer­ences and helps on a day-to-day ba­sis to pro­mote and sus­tain com­mu­nity peace and en­joy­ment and even pro­tect prop­erty val­ues.

It is vi­tal for our mu­nic­i­pal of­fi­cials, en­trusted with this re­spon­si­bil­ity, to ad­min­is­ter by­laws for those ends, this in­cludes com­mu­ni­cat­ing with and ed­u­cat­ing res­i­dents on the by­laws and en­sur­ing by­law com­pli­ance.

To il­lus­trate a few ex­am­ples of con­cerns raised, where more rig­or­ous by­law en­force­ment will make the right dif­fer­ence, while a dog may be “a per­son’s best friend,” a by­law re­quires own­ers to keep their dogs on a leash be­cause dog attacks can be very se­ri­ous events, where peo­ple and/or other an­i­mals can be se­verely in­jured or worse.

En­force­ment pro­tects an­i­mals and peo­ple from harm, even pre­vent­ing an an­i­mal from be­ing eu­th­a­nized and its own­ers facing se­vere fines and/or civil or crim­i­nal le­gal ac­tions. I have been told of many cases where dogs are run­ning loose, even in our parks where young chil­dren are play­ing. Dogs kept on leads helps to pro­tect us all.

After a too long and cold win­ter, spring’s air is warm and re­fresh­ing, or so it should be.

Yet even though one long-stand­ing by­law re­quires all com­postable matter, such as leaves and grass, to be com­posted and not burned, un­for­tu­nately, many of our neigh­bours con­tinue to il­le­gally burn this ma­te­rial.

This at a time when their neigh­bours are out­side work­ing to beau­tify their yards for the com­ing sum­mer or open­ing their win­dows to let in spring’s fresh clean air.

The by­law is in ef­fect to pro­tect ev­ery­one from the known health, even car­cino­genic risks, of air­borne smoke (Google it) and to pro­tect res­i­dents’ rea­son­able ex­pec­ta­tions of en­joy­ment of their prop­erty and their com­mu­nity en­v­i­ron.

Our side­walks are in­tended to sep­a­rate peo­ple from road traf­fic for pedes­trian safety. Yet as was pointed out to me, mo­tor ve­hi­cles, espe­cially ATVs and 4X4s, and, in the win­ter, snow­mo­biles, are il­le­gally park­ing on side­walks ad­ja­cent to lo­cal shops, forc­ing peo­ple to walk on the road­way. Pub­lic safety in­vest­ment (our tax dol­lars) is be­ing lost when this by­law is not be­ing ad­min­is­tered.

I know by­laws pro­tect all res­i­dents, and a mu­nic­i­pal by­law is no dif­fer­ent than any other law. It can be en­forced with penal­ties; of­fend­ers can be charged and fined or even face crim­i­nal charges.

Our by­laws and by­law en­force­ment of­fi­cers help pro­tect us from harm and our elected of­fi­cials are elected to be ac­count­able, to im­par­tially ad­min­is­ter by­laws and sup­port the BEO and all of us.

On be­half of those many who have raised is­sues, I know it is vi­tal that our mu­nic­i­pal of­fi­cials not look the other way but be dili­gent in ap­ply­ing the by­laws to help us all en­joy health, safety, se­cu­rity and qual­ity of life that we should ex­pect as res­i­dents of Glen­garry County.

I am al­ways lis­ten­ing to con­cerned res­i­dents and ready to do all that I can to help. Ellery J. Lafave, Wil­liamstown

More Let­ters on Page 5.

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