TUESDAY MORNING EDITORIAL — A good explanation will be provided at today’s City council meeting, no doubt, but it seems a little odd that the City will be looking for two additional RCMP members if it adopts a bylaw on nuisance properties.
The bylaw, still being drafted by administration, would aim to collect payment from those responsible for creating neighbourhood disturbances with such things as loud parties, dealing in drugs, or drag racing.
For example, if a police constable or a firefighter is required to respond to a home based on a complaint from a neighbour, the bylaw would authorize the City to go after the wages paid to the responder and the costs of any equipment used, such as a police cruiser or a fire truck.
Who would pay? First choice would be whoever directly created the problem, such as the renter of the offending residence. However, going after the landlord might not be out of the question.
So here’s where the confusion comes. The bylaw is supposed to act as a deterrent, and avoid taxpayers having to pay enforcement costs. So why would we need to budget for two additional police members?
Maybe the bylaw would result in an uptick of complaints, maybe not. There’s no mention in the administration’s report of a compensating increase in revenues from enforcement to offset the increase in police staffing.
A nuisance abatement bylaw seems like a great idea but if it’s just going to result in more cost to the taxpayer, maybe not so much.