Considering what has occurred on Morningstar Road, a “Good Neighbour Bylaw” in Oliver can’t come too soon.
It appears a Hatfield and McCoy feud has been brewing in this neighbourhood over bylaw contraventions, barking dogs, theft, vandalism and an alleged assault.
The RCMP needs to sit these people down and resolve the conflict before it gets out of hand.
To start off with, people should not face repercussions for filing a legitimate complaint about a bylaw contravention. If a certain action contravenes an ordinance, even if it only bothers a couple of people, the bylaw should be enforced.
The complainant shouldn’t have to worry about being targeted by vengeful neighbours, but unfortunately this happens all too often in society. Given this fact, people must be aware that if they push the agenda too much, they might be the subject of condemnation or worse.
They say fences make good neighbours, but even a fence can be the topic of dispute these days. What the heck do you do? Find some way to resolve it, with the help of a mediator.
We’re hoping the Town’s new bylaw enforcement policy and the upcoming Good Neighbour Bylaw will address these potential conflicts.
But we hope we never hear the statement again that the Town doesn’t have a legal duty to enforce its bylaws. That might be true, but the Town is only inviting criticism whenever an official says that.
The argument is: don’t create bylaws if you have no duty to enforce them.
The Chronicle was informed about a previous bylaw enforcement complaint filed against a resident who happened to be a Town employee. The neighbour said the Town’s protocol was strictly followed by filling out the proper forms with signatures, but reportedly little or no action was taken.
The complainant claims that repercussions were suffered in the form of threats and verbal abuse from the resident.
Of course, one person’s interpretation of an infraction may be different from the Town’s. But we sincerely hope the municipality enforces its bylaws regardless of who the subject of complaint is. For example, if the mayor contravenes a bylaw and someone files a complaint, we totally expect enforcement action in a timely manner. There can be no bias.
It was reported that the Hatfields and McCoys unofficially agreed to stop fighting in 1891, but it wasn’t until 1976 that family members from both sides shook hands. An official “truce” was reportedly signed in 2003.