Why do we have municipal enforcement? If you go back a few hundred years the philosopher Hobbes said, in effect, municipal enforcement is needed ensure the social contract between each one of us was upheld. Without the social contract life would be short, nasty, and brutish. This is a bit dramatic for our Bylaw Officers in Kindersley but the principle is the foundation: ensuring that we can live together.
The principles guiding our municipal enforcement is:
Compliance but it is best achieved through awareness and education. Sometimes we just don’t know, or aren’t aware, how our actions affect others. However, for those who want to disrupt our neighbourhood then enforcement is necessary.
In Kindersley our municipal enforcement services are responsible for a number of items:
- ensure conformance of bylaws such as heavy truck parking and asset protection which requires non-office hours,
- improved safety on the service roads and throughout town,
- improved level of service which includes:
- education such as visiting schools and working with residents to help them better understand why bylaws are needed, ticketing, relations with the RCMP, training, working with our neighbours and more.
- our Bylaw Officers have received training this year to improve their effectiveness in:
- SK Emergency Planners Association,
- Basic Emergency Management,
- Incident Command Systems,
- Emergency Operations Centre Management,
- Investigation Skills,
- Incident Risk Assessment,
- Suicide Prevention.
Communication is an important priority for Council and it includes all parts of the corporation. How is this done through municipal enforcement:
- greater visibility resulting in more dialogue with our neighbours,
- improved public awareness,
- participation in various programs with local partners such as the Chamber and provincial programs such as Bike Safety Week,
- participation in Emergency Measures Organization programs, and
- reports to Council
Municipal enforcement has grown based on need: the landfill tire showed us some gaps in our organization that needed to be addressed. I’m glad we were able to suppress the fire quickly without any major damages and injuries but I still found it embarrassing and opportunities for improvement (OFIs). As a result the second bylaw position has responsibility for emergency preparedness and incident management. Municipal enforcement is also reviewing and amending existing bylaws, writing and implementing new bylaws, the creation of a new EMO Plan which has been well received across the province and has been copied, and enhancing the administrative aspects of municipal enforcement.
What types of issues require the most attention from municipal enforcement?
- property maintenance,
- parking violations, especially on the service road,
- emergency planning and preparedness.
It would be great if we lived in a society where law enforcement at any level isn’t needed. However, that utopian ideal has never been realized and I’m skeptical it will be. We can aspire to it though,