Tay opts for status quo with bylaw enforcement system

·3 min read

Tay Township bylaw officers will not be reinventing the wheel when it comes to levying fines for infractions.

This move was reinforced by council's decision to side with a staff recommendation to not implement the Administrative Monetary Penalty System (AMPS) that had been brought up during short-term rental enforcement discussions.

The system, explained Rob Kennedy, municipal law enforcement officer, would be like the township creating its own courtroom.

"All penalty notices, all hearing notices, all hearings would be a cost onto the municipality rather than what we have right now through municipal offences," he said.

"All of that cost goes to the province and all that administrative time goes through their office. That is covered under our policing revenue at this time. Over time, I believe the cost would heavily outweigh what we would get in return for these penalties that we would issue."

Coun. Barry Norris had some questions.

"I never saw anything that suggested we need a screening officer," he said. "As municipal law enforcement, you're doing a report as it stands and you apply a dollar value to your time and submit that bill to the property owner. They can appeal to council or an independent board.

"What charges can (it) be applied (to)?" asked Norris.

Kennedy said the AMPS is borne out of two pieces of legislation; the Municipal Act and Ontario Regulation 333/07, which pertains to administrative penalties.

"That's where you'll find the requirements for a screening officer and the hearing officer," he said. "As it's laid out in the report, the appeal process is like an in-house courtroom. If someone doesn't agree with the penalty, they would appeal it and it would go to a screening officer and it would be similar to a justice of the peace. That's your first appeal. If that person doesn't like the decision, it can go into a hearings officer.

"That officer cannot be from within the township. And there can be no political interference with it," added Kennedy.

As for which bylaws it would cover, he said, that would be up to the township, however, zoning bylaws are not part of this.

Mayor Ted Walker wasn't in favour of it as well as others.

"I don't like it," he said. "I think it would be a dog's breakfast. I think it would introduce all kinds of costs and complicate matters.I don't want to be on an appeal body when I'm helping set the policies. I think that would be a conflict. We have a system and I don't want to start complicating matters any further. The system is there and let's use what's there now."

Staff's recommendation to not implement the AMPS was carried by council committee. The decision will come back to a future council meeting for ratification.

More information on the proposed system can be found in the staff report online.

Mehreen Shahid, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, OrilliaMatters.com