As a resident of St. Marys, I must write this letter in response to your article: “Bylaws will now be enforced.”
I’ve lived in this town for approximately 15 years, and before that my wife and I lived in Mitchell. After 30 years service, I’m now a retired OPP constable that has worked in Perth County for 22 years — including St. Marys for the last three years before retirement.
I’m deeply saddened by the comments of our Town Council in last week’s paper about our Town bylaws. Several members have stated that we don’t have enforcement of bylaws; I have to wonder, do we pay for this enforcement? I’m not sure, but I would hope these members would know. If we don’t pay for all types of bylaw enforcement, how can Council complain?
As for enforcement, I can say that I personally have given warnings and, when appropriate, issued parking tickets in St. Marys, especially those parked in handicapped, fire routes and at the corners of an intersection in front of the banks. I also am personally aware of many others members of the OPP that have issued bylaw tickets.
As members of Town Council, is it not important that they give us citizens of St. Marys the true facts. Councillor Stephen McCotter is quoted as saying: “it’s laughable because there’s no enforcement.” If members of Council are going to make these inflammatory statements, they should be held accountable for their misinformation. I’m not asking for a lot, just the TRUTH, not misinformation. Hopefully, that’s not too much to ask.
I must, however, commend Council. I believe a bylaw officer is a very good idea, but I wonder why, many years ago when we had a bylaw officer, they fired him.
Councillor Pope is quoted as saying: “I’m hopeful visitors and tourists will not be ticketed.” Are you kidding me? How is the bylaw officer to know the difference between vehicles? I would suggest Council walk down the main street and point out these tourist vehicles.
Of course there are the repeat violators that are easily identified; they do need to be ticketed. And how would a resident of St. Marys feel to see his vehicle ticketed but yet not the vehicle beside him. Is this appropriate enforcement of a bylaw? I think not.
Finally, is Council going to tell the citizens of St. Marys about the upcoming changes to the OPP office? If they plan to sell the current building used by the OPP, which building will they use? Will they be relocated to the Sebringville office? And are the citizens entitled to know that the response time of an officer will be delayed at times by their travel from Sebringville? Does the teller at the bank, the cashier at a store, or the women or child at home alone in the middle of the night need to know that Council has approved the delay of an officer to their emergency because we no longer provide them an office?
Do we not have the right to know?
I don’t have all the answers, but as someone who has worked the night shifts, the weekends, the holidays and responded in earnest to the citizens of St. Marys in their time of need and in their time of sorrow, all I ask of our elected officials is that they should at least tell the truth.
Paul McComb, St. Marys