I want to applaud Nelson city council’s decision to “beef up” the enforcement of bylaws and their associated fines (“City considers beefing up bylaws,” July 26). Some might call it reactionary, but I for one think our bylaw enforcement does not go far enough. Let’s embrace the possibilities that a more Draconian structure would provide for Nelson’s citizenry.
I’ll begin with just a smattering of modest proposals that, I believe, will really take this revenue generator to the next level:
• No kids on Baker Street. After the rousing success of the no dogs policy it seems only reasonable to have a No Child Policy and for most of the same reasons; they are smelly, they spread disease, they whine and cry when abandoned by their owners, etc. Let’s create kiddy corrals at either end of Baker so that busy shopping parents may just drop off their progeny and enjoy a coconut water or almond soy latte in peace whilst they shop. The kiddy drop off corrals might be a good way to create some part-time jobs for Nelson’s indigent youth.
• Dreadlock standards. Let’s have a set of standards for dreadlocks; length, thickness, cleanliness. I foresee unlimited revenue for city coffers from such an ordinance. It has it all, multiple levels of interpretation, creative and discretionary enforcement, and selective application. What’s not to like?
• Increase the number of bylaw officers. We need a minimum of two per block on Baker Street, particularly in the summer months when the potential for bylaw infractions and money making are highest.
• While we are at it I think we need to make our bylaw officers more fashionable and readily identifiable. No more boring khaki shirts and shorts. Let’s put them in snappy Zouave uniforms. Also, real bylaw officers require Segways, Tasers, and handguns so they may provide instantaneous and effective response to any infraction.
• Organize pedestrian traffic flows on Baker Street — south side of the street traveling eastbound walks to the right only and the same for the north side traveling westbound. This will allow for the bylaw officers and their Segways to pass on the outside lane travelling in opposition to foot traffic, thus making the issuance of tickets for infractions expeditious and allowing the bylaw officers and public to traverse Baker Street in a continuous circuit, no more ambling and milling about. Just shop ‘til you drop.
• Hire an expensive public relations and marketing firm from outside the area, say Vancouver or Calgary, to solicit community input on these ideas through a series of semi-public forums, create a “high-level” document, ostensibly to guide public policy and councils decision making, but in reality something that can be shelved and largely ignored.
If these humble suggestions meet with success and reach popularity similar to the no-dogs ordinance, they should immediately be followed up by no-cats and no-hippie ordinances.
We have only to look to our southern borders to see that a tough on crime, zero tolerance, guns and ammo approach to every level of government delivers results. Maybe not the ones we are after but hey, why worry, eh?
Oh and while we are at it, how about a no-city council inside the city limits ordinance? It’s not like they actually ever touch down here anyway.
Richard T. White