SUMMERSIDE - The city's commissionaire will be taking on a few more bylaw enforcement duties, namely when it comes to unsightly properties.
Coun. Barb Ramsay shared the announcement during a Summerside committees meeting at city hall on Oct. 6. Up until this point, if an infraction was reported under the city's dangerous, hazardous and unsightly premises bylaw, it would be handled by Summerside's Police Services.
City council has been wanting a bylaw officer for about two years to take responsibilities such as this one off of the police, so the commissionaire will act as a point of contact for any unsightly premises reports.
"We will free up other police services for higher priority police work," Ramsay said.
In the past, about 95 per cent of infractions reported in Summerside were successfully dealt with after a simple conversation, so having someone designated to keep an eye on these properties will help to keep the city cleaner and make the process more efficient, said deputy CAO Gordon MacFarlane.
"It's a minor shift that will have a major impact, hopefully."
The city's commissionaire has helped enforce parking and taxi bylaws in the past – the position is currently held by Garth MacKinnon, MacFarlane said.
Dave Poirier, Summerside's chief of police, said he hopes MacKinnon's new duties will take effect by Monday, Oct. 12. Enforcing the unsightly bylaw will be the only responsibility added to his plate.
"It's only a start," Poirier said. "If things work out, maybe the commissionaire will be given extra duties."
Coun. Cory Snow was among many councillors who were pleased with the news.
"I do think we'll see some benefits of it down the road."
Daniel Brown, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Guardian