County bylaw officer now permanent

Richard Froese
For the Lakeside Leader

A bylaw officer position for Big Lakes County is now a permanent role.

Council approved a motion by Robert Nygaard at its Feb. 14 meeting that the one-year position be changed to permanent.

Council discussed the matter in camera for about three minutes before the motion was made and passed.

The pilot project was adopted by a resolution of council on March 1 of last year, to be reviewed after one year. Judson Mayes was hired to fill that position on May 15, 2017. Apparently it worked out fairly well.

“Council has become satisfied with the role of the bylaw enforcement officer,” said reeve Ken Matthews at the Feb. 14 meeting. “We had many bylaws that weren’t being enforced, and we didn’t have staff to take time to do it and now the officer is doing that.”

Under the bylaw, the officer serves to enforce county bylaws, investigate and respond to complaints of breaches, conduct routine patrols and issue tickets for offences. The position is supervised by the director of planning and development for the county. The bylaw officer does not serve the role as ‘peace’ officer, since the county currently has a contract for those services with the Town of High Prairie.

The need for a bylaw enforcement officer was suggested by residents at an open house in 2016 in Joussard.

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