Bylaws are bylaws. They need to be enforced. I understand that. Without rules and regulations, this city would be in total chaos. But I do believe that with the power of enforcing those bylaws, should come the right to evaluate each case on its own merit and use judgment to either make an exception or find a happy medium.
The Cadieux kids were doing something good. They were showing the qualities it will require to be the leaders of the future. Initiative, hard work, entrepreneurship, they had it all. Frankly, it is something quite admirable in this day and age. To have city officials come and threaten them with hefty fines could have resulted in killing those qualities. It’s a block on creativity. It’s a limitation on potential. It’s a suppression of free market.
Now to be fair, I have to divulge that I have not spoken to either the bylaw enforcement officer or the Cadieux Family, so I’m running on what I’ve heard.
The Cadieux boys had been running the business for a couple of years. Unlike a pop up lemonade stand, which is a one day type of thing, this was a little more stable. Their signs were professionally made and permanently placed on the lawn.
A neighbour apparently complained–beats me why!–leaving the city no choice but to address the situation. Phone calls were made, notices were served and here we are again, on national news, for the wrong reasons.
Bylaws are bylaws. They need to be enforced. But perhaps the bylaws should be revised? I understand the need for residential sectors to keep a certain standard, but with so many people operating small businesses from home nowadays, retail commercial activity, including small, non-invasive signage, should be allowed on personal property.
Really, when you think about it, what harm does it do? What is the argument here? That It makes our city looks more trashy? Really?
Trash left on street corners, never being picked up makes our city look more trashy, not professionally-made signs on a lawn. Yard sales happening every week, in the same driveway, from people trying to get rid of old, dirty, useless stuff makes our city look trashy, not a small clean cooler, in a staircase, on a private property. Teenagers smoking weed at the skate park without the cops ever intervening makes our city look trashy, not kids selling worms from their front porch.
We need to make it easier for people to fend for themselves, not harder. We need to help small businesses, not kill them. On a larger scale, we need to cut down the red tape to the bare minimum and put our focus where it matters. We need to let free enterprise, legal free enterprise, flow. Just because something has been done a certain way for years doesn’t mean it’s the right way. There is enough misery in our city. City council makes the rules. Time for this council to change them.
I am glad to see Councillor Towndale is on the job.
Speaking of discontentment
As the media coordinator for Ribfest 2015, one of my jobs was to make sure our media sponsors were duly acknowledged. I failed with one of them. Know Brockville had contacted us to exchange in kind advertising and in all the chaos of overseeing the ads everywhere, I forgot to place their logo on the Ribfest website listing them as a sponsor. It was a bad oversight and I wish to publicly apologize to Mr. Tim Sharpe. I tried to contact Know Brockville to rectify the situation and make my wrong right, but alas, as of press time, I did not receive a response. Nonetheless, I do sincerely apologize.
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