News

Vernon bylaw enforcement officers come under fire

City of Vernon employees are being accused of  heavy-handedness and scaring off business.

Coun. Brian Quiring lashed out at the bylaw enforcement department at Monday’s meeting.

“A business left downtown because of parking enforcement — a sense of harassment,” said Quiring.

“Bylaw officers stand around waiting for meters to expire. That’s the wrong optics to send. If there are two left (on the meter), don’t stand there waiting for it to expire. Keep walking.”

Quiring says there has also been a problem with bylaw officers ticketing vehicles related to a renovation project even though the business has reserved a parking spot and there is a hood over the meter.

“I’ve had lots of complaints,” he said.

Quiring’s comments about officers waiting for meters to expire were challenged by Clint Kanester, bylaw enforcement manager.

“Staff is directed not to do that. If the meter is counting down, they keep walking,” he said.

Kanester says there may be a perception of officers hanging around when they are actually ensuring a vehicle’s insurance is valid or they hope a resident will come out and feed the meter.

“We can write enough tickets by walking without standing around and waiting (for meters to expire),” he said.

In terms of businesses reserving a parking spot, Kanester says a vehicle must display a special permit to notify officers it is allowed to be there.

Coun. Patrick Nicol also says he has heard of downtown merchants concerned about parking enforcement.

“When they see an officer, they run to their till (to get money) and start plugging meters because they know what impact that has on their business,” he said.

Kanester says bylaws are in place to restrict an individual from monopolizing on-street parking and ensure other motorists can use it.

According to Kanester, some of the worst offenders are the people the city is trying to support.

“There are individuals on a list with 60 tickets in a two-year period and they are all business owners,” he said.

“They have other parking available to them.”

 

 

We encourage an open exchange of ideas on this story's topic, but we ask you to follow our guidelines for respecting community standards. Personal attacks, inappropriate language, and off-topic comments may be removed, and comment privileges revoked, per our Terms of Use. Please see our FAQ if you have questions or concerns about using Facebook to comment.

You might like ...

Surgical waits average five months in B.C.
 
Pair bid Armstrong council adieu
 
Vernon Panthers advance to provincial semis
Flu vaccine less effective against mutant strain
 
Finning employees make large donation to United Way
 
Whitecaps girls heading to Seattle
Shining a light on a unique Okanagan business concept
 
Repair Cafe brings volunteer back to his roots as an inquisitive youngster
 
Crand Chief arrested at Burnaby protest

Community Events, November 2014

Add an Event


Read the latest eEdition

Browse the print edition page by page, including stories and ads.

Nov 26 edition online now. Browse the archives.