Guelph-Eramosa approves shared bylaw enforcement/property standards officer

Guelph-Eramosa Township has agreed to share a bylaw enforcement and property standards officer with the Town of Erin.

At the April 4 meeting Guelph-Eramosa council unanimously voted in favour of the agreement.  

“It sounds like a good and reasonable thing,” said Mayor Chris White said. “It will give us some extra hours on something that seems to be a bit of a growing problem as we urbanize and you have issues with dogs and property standard bylaws and various things.”

Township clerk Meaghen Reid explained the bylaw enforcement and property standards officer would be shared 50/50 with the Town of Erin.

She said, “Within the agreement the Township of Guelph-Eramosa is identified as the employer for this position, so we will look after the posting of this position as well as retaining them as an employee and we will invoice the town of Erin on a monthly basis for the services that … will be provided.”

Councillor Mark Bouwmeester asked whether the bylaw officer would work set minimum hours in each municipality.

Reid explained that although the specifics have not yet been agreed to, it looks like the employee will work for three days in one municipality and two days in the other, then vice versa the following week. The only exception would be for emergency situations.

“The idea that they would come to the other township would be on an emergency basis and the time would have to be made up, so it wouldn’t be like they’d be floating between the two,” White explained.

The agreement is an even 50/50 split in responsibilities and cost.

The emergency coverage is what council is most looking forward to with the new coverage. With a part-time employee there are situations requiring immediate attention that arise when the officer isn’t working. The idea is that with the shared position all of those issues will be immediately addressed.

Bouwmeester asked what would happen if one of the municipalities chose to terminate the agreement.

“That would be something that we would have to deal with at the time and get legal council on,” Reid explained. “But that’s definitely something that we’re talking with our employment legal council about; how to move forward so that if the service arrangement were to no longer be in existence how can we sort of protect ourselves.”

Each municipality is required to give six months notice if it plans to terminate the agreement.

Councillor Louise Marshall said she thinks making it a full-time position will provide a larger pool of candidates to choose from in the job competition.

“How many people can get by on a two-day a week job?” she asked in reference to the previous part-time position.