Whitehorse Daily Star

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Kyle Morrison

Realigned fines proposed for maintenance bylaw

City council is being asked to approve a new structure for levying fines imposed under the city’s maintenance bylaw.

By Chuck Tobin on November 23, 2022

City council is being asked to approve a new structure for levying fines imposed under the city’s maintenance bylaw.

The proposal, for instance, implements a three-tier system to replace the current structure where fines are limited to $100 under 15 sections of the maintenance bylaw.

The proposed amendment would implement a system that gives bylaw officers the ability to impose a fine of $250 for the first offence, followed by a fine of $500 for the second infraction and $1,000 for a third infraction.

“In addition to stronger fines for failing to remove graffiti, administration identified a number of commonly enforced sections that are also suitable for increases and multiple level fine applications,” says the administrative report prepared for council.

“The proposed adjustments align with municipal standards in other jurisdictions, provide better enforcement capabilities, address community needs, achieve effective voluntary compliance and improve community services.”

Council directed administration to bring forward a bylaw to amend the maintenance bylaw. The matter is scheduled to be back before council next Monday.

Currently, for instance, allowing the storage of material in a residential front yard carries a fine of $100.

The fine for permitting or allowing graffiti is $250, as is the fine for failing to remove graffiti.

Kyle Morrison, the acting manager of bylaw services, told council they did a scan of practices in other municipalities and found a number of municipalities use the same three-tiered approach.

That approach does serve as a better deterrent and provides the opportunity for bylaw officers to work with property owners or renters, Morrison said.

A lot of the time, he added, property owners or renters are happy to work with bylaw officers.

The bylaw department does not want to bring citizens into court if the matter can be resolved outside of the courtroom, he said.

Some concern was raised by councillors regarding how officers distinguish between the owner of a property and a renter when it comes to determining who is responsible for the infraction.

Fines are also being raised from $100 for failing to remove snow and ice as directed and from $250 for failing to remove snow from accessible parking spaces.

Coun. Ted Laking said as higher fines for insufficient removal of ice and snow are implemented, the city needs to make sure it’s performing the same level of service it’s expecting from its residents.

Mayor Laura Cabott said graffiti has been an issue in the city.

The city, she said, has worked with the Whitehorse Chamber of Commerce to provide kits to remove graffiti.

Going forward, perhaps the city could find places for artists to do their graffiti, the mayor suggested.

Morrison noted footage from video cameras can be used in graffiti investigations and the RCMP can be called in to assist.

Comments (23)

Up 7 Down 1

Tater on Nov 29, 2022 at 4:06 pm

And on the subject , those who do graffiti are vandals NOT ARTISTS!

Up 6 Down 0

Tater on Nov 29, 2022 at 4:04 pm

Mayor Laura Cabott said graffiti has been an issue in the city.
Going forward, perhaps the city could find places for artists to do their graffiti, the mayor suggested.

OK, so here is my suggestion, perhaps the mayor or councillors could offer their homes if they think graffiti is artwork.

Up 6 Down 5

Patsy on Nov 29, 2022 at 12:05 am

I wish that people would stop and think. When you call Bylaw because there is an abandoned vehicle in your area and snow everywhere, when animals are ripping your garbage apart, your dog is running loose because you won’t look after it. We are supposed to be civilian. Kyle Morrison, even though he was a meter attendant 13 years ago, is doing a good job. Instead of judging him, apply for the job!

Up 4 Down 6

Moose on Nov 28, 2022 at 8:40 pm

@Dallas You probably don't know this, but the city does not operate under a political party system. So for you to say this is some kind of Liberal or NDP thing, makes no sense.

Hopefully you will someday realize that not everything in life is political and partisan. Lay off the kool aid for a while.

Up 4 Down 2

Chuck Farley on Nov 26, 2022 at 4:15 pm

Matthew; nothing is free, there's a cost to everything.

Up 2 Down 8

Hobo-Phobic on Nov 26, 2022 at 1:37 pm

Dear Hobo on Nov 25, 2022 at 3:21 pm:

Does your child go to home room in school or is Hobo one of those ironic names?

Up 10 Down 3

Jason on Nov 26, 2022 at 6:47 am

Interesting. I see a pattern here which shows there needs to be a shift in the bylaw department. The Bylaw manager, Morrison is also the former meter maid and does seem to be out of his depth like Nope has mentioned. He seems to not take a stance on real issues and doesn’t really do anything for this city department either. It’s a sad state of affairs when this would be the third or fourth manager bylaw manager the city has gone through in the last few years. It’s no wonder the public doesn’t take this department and their talk about fines seriously. It’s time to cut these guys loose and start fresh for an actual enforcement department for the public’s actual needs and response time.

Up 9 Down 1

Hobo on Nov 25, 2022 at 3:21 pm

" align with municipal standards in other jurisdictions" . How about that for an aximoron?
The City is way off in comparision to other cities of similar size. I had come to my knowledge that the City has placed a WORK STOP ORDER on an outside firepit in my child's school; 3 MONTHS AFTER it was finished. Nice detective work, you Sherlocks.

Up 19 Down 3

Nope on Nov 25, 2022 at 1:09 pm

Morrison is out of his depth easily the most difficult person I’ve ever dealt with at the city. He took an enforcement call I placed (a blocked roadway) and got super combative with me saying “What do you want me to to about it?” I ended up hanging up on him after telling him I’d deal with it myself.

What a joke.

Up 19 Down 7

Dallas on Nov 25, 2022 at 8:22 am

I’ve said it before, the city the territory and the country are screwed and the common denominator is the liberal NDP alliance…incompetence at its finest.

Up 18 Down 2

Josh Allen on Nov 24, 2022 at 8:18 pm

How about these bylaw guys actually start doing some real investigative work instead of making homeowners pay for something they may not even be aware happened in the first place on the back of their garage or fence? Or how about they put their focus on real issues affecting the community instead of playing cops. You can usually spot them hanging out at Tim Hortons doing “bylaw work” in the evenings and weekends. This new acting manager Kyle needs to do a much better job because right now the bylaw department is looking like the class clown and is an embarrassment to the city. If they want to start issuing tickets for something, get out of Tim Hortons or hiding in the office and take a walk downtown or the millennium trail for all the off leash dogs or the late night parties that blast their music for the neighbourhood to hear. Even better, start making a positive contribution to the community.

Up 25 Down 5

Juniper Jackson on Nov 23, 2022 at 9:53 pm

Driver: Aren't you just a peach..

Matthew: What a super idea. The idea that every person who is able, should be required to make some kind of a contribution has come up before. But various Human Rights groups, SJWs (such a useless bunch) have highly, constantly, and verbally screamed about the indignity done to a person by asking them to work for their food, clothing, roof, TV, computers, games, etc. However, maybe the time has come, that there are so many people in the wagon, and not enough people pushing the wagon, that some (oxymoron here) level of government will display some common sense and listen to you. The wagon is really in a rut.

Up 47 Down 2

Stowaway on Nov 23, 2022 at 9:13 pm

How about instead of increasing fines on property owners the bylaw department do some real police work and actually go out and catch the perpetrators of the graffiti. Secondly the Mayor instead of providing space for these vandals to further "express themselves", she could see to it, that rather than being pandered to, they do some "hard time" removing the product of their distruction through out the city. Why does the City council feel the need to penalize the taxpayer for someone else's transgressions. Seems backwards to me.

Up 24 Down 5

bonanzajoe on Nov 23, 2022 at 7:46 pm

How about a $350 fine for parking in a handicap spot. And post the fine on the handicap sign so people will know it. And provide a direct phone number to the bi-law officer who writes up these tickets.

Up 13 Down 21

Clayton on Nov 23, 2022 at 5:26 pm

These guys work hard and they have a thankless job (ByLaw). Amend the legislation to allow them to actually have some enforcement power. 1-2-3 system makes sense and may help deal with some real issues of people who just don't give a #*$& until there is a real consequence.

Up 31 Down 3

Max Mack on Nov 23, 2022 at 5:16 pm

@Driver

You are making nuisance complaints.
It is not illegal to park a vehicle on most residential streets. It is only against bylaws to "store" a vehicle on the street.

p.s. perhaps people wouldn't need to park on the street quite so much in the winter if the city's snow-clearing practices didn't block residential driveways.

Up 32 Down 3

Taxpayer on Nov 23, 2022 at 4:53 pm

Don’t remove the snow and you get a fine, keep your sidewalk clean and the city comes a plugs it with the plows…..when they plow, pretty rich coming from a mayor and council that was in way over their heads when it comes to snow removal the last two years, it’s time to privatize some or all of the basic maintenance services regarding snow removal.

Up 22 Down 4

BIG DADDY on Nov 23, 2022 at 4:50 pm

And if any of you "landowners" think this has anything whatsoever to do with money you are sadly mistaken. As the observant amongst you may have noticed, prices are rising everywhere so we took the opportunity to raise the fines a mere 250 percent to keep up with the price increases of caviar and champagne and 5 star hotel rooms and have you seen what has happened to the cost of flying in private jets these days?? My word! Really quite atrocious. Sure glad I don't get the bill for any of that stuff. Hehehehe

Up 43 Down 1

WTF? on Nov 23, 2022 at 4:28 pm

GTFOH! So some little shyt-head commits an offence and the victim of that offence is fined?!?! This is absurd. The vandal should be required to complete the “fix” to city standards - If not, they get the fine.

Or, you know what? Go and ticket every business with graffiti and pay off the Liberal Covid debt by the end of the year - End inflation!
Seriously? How does this make sense?

We should have a criminal code or something to apply in these situations. We should use it. We can bring back work crews in prison orange/reds!

Up 46 Down 2

Jim on Nov 23, 2022 at 4:21 pm

So our illustrious Mayor calls people artists who put graffiti on private owners buildings and hope to find more suitable places for them to practice their craft. But the owners are liable for increased fines because….. Maybe bylaw should work a little harder to catch these “artists” and make the clean up graffiti as punishment.

Up 39 Down 31

Driver on Nov 23, 2022 at 3:20 pm

People who park on the roads in residential neighbourhoods in the winter also need their cars towed away. I just report them all now.

Up 87 Down 11

Matthew on Nov 23, 2022 at 3:05 pm

This is easy one, anyone who receives free housing should be mandatory to do 20 hrs community service a month. Bring back positive work ethic. Keep people busy, learn new skills.

Up 58 Down 26

Juniper Jackson on Nov 23, 2022 at 2:45 pm

I'm really liking this council less and less and then..more less. Also..why are they giving the plastic cowboys the authority to impose fines like these? The by laws are every day folks, no special training that I know of. (Every time I have been to City hall, 2 by law vehicles are parked in the handicapped spaces.)

Big shots huh?

I can't word strongly enough how much i hate " The proposed adjustments align with municipal standards in other jurisdictions.' Ya like those jurisdictions so much, get out of here and move there.

Whitehorse has always been a wee bit different, unique. (How much snow does..oh.. Kamloops have to remove? )
I am so sorry I voted for most of these dudes.

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