Important to make good bylaws

It is always interesting to read the PNR to obtain their take of what is happening in our community

It is always interesting to read the PNR to obtain their take of what is happening in our community.

I would just like to make a few points regarding the proposed Bylaw 1261 and 1262 (traffic and parking) in North Saanich, it’s very important to get this right. It is  not easy to amend a bylaw once it has passed the final reading. Copying a bylaw from Vancouver or any other city does not work for North Saanich, some parts will apply but others do not. Our bylaw officer  cannot pick and choose the ones that he wishes to enforce. His job is to regulate all the bylaws equally.

The bylaw report contained 11 pages.  Parking is a big issue in the bylaw but many other items are also included and some do not apply to North Saanich.  Parking of trucks and heavy commercial vehicles can be solved by taking them  off  the street but the noise has not been taken into consideration.

Passion and long term vision are wonderful things but let us get this right. Who knows what 20 years will bring and to try and jam all possibilities into one bylaw just does not work. This bylaw will become law. Tickets and fines can and will be challenged, so it is important to take our time with them and get them right the first time. If this means several drafts so be it. Getting something right is not a waste of anyone’s time.

I do take exception to your comments in your editorial: “That is especially  true for a council that seems to want to be in the middle of most debates and conflicts that their staff could easily handle, given clear direction and a little bit of trust from the politicians.”

It appears to me that you do not have a clear understanding of the role of mayor and council. It is our duty to deal with these items and not pass our obligations to others. Mayor and council are elected to determine policies necessary for the activities and actions of staff. We determine services appropriate for our community. We ensure council decisions are being properly discharged by staff. We solicit and reflect the will of the public majority.

We would all like to have a crystal ball and know what the future will bring. We can safely plan for 5 to 10 years but over the long term its much  more difficult and this job will be even more difficult with flawed bylaws on the books.

We are not shirking our responsibilities to provide safe and appropriate protection to our residents. Debate, and even disagreements are all good for the community, it engages thinking. Requests for information from our CAO are not taken lightly but a necessity in order to make good decisions, this is a right of every councillor.

Conny McBride, councillor

District of North Saanich