Bylaw department needs to be reviewed

Editor, The News:

Re: Peeved RV owners turn to Facebook (The News, April 13).

The issue of RV parking is a good example of why the function of the Maple Ridge bylaw enforcement department should be reviewed and curtailed.

I have run afoul of the bylaw enforcement department regarding short-term parking of my trailer on the street in front of our apartment. I won’t go into the lengthy details, but I feel the bylaw enforcement officer was overbearing and arrogant.

He informed me that this particular section of the parking bylaw is only enforced upon complaint, but refused to identify the complainant.

That is not where the matter ended, but his attitude left a lot to be desired.

If any law is only enforced upon complaint but the identity of the complainant is kept secret, that is not democracy, it is Big Brother and Iron Curtain tactics.

The recent spate of complaints concerning RV parking probably originates in the mind of the bylaw enforcement officer who is doing his best to justify his own job and has nothing to do with public safety or any other reasonable issue.

If the issue is esthetics, the municipality should clean up it own back yard before allowing its bylaw enforcement department to act in such a foolish manner.

The downtown area is plagued with drug dealers and crack whores, but the municipality sits idly by, wringing its hands and doing nothing; but, by God, they have a bylaw enforcement department that is very aggressively pursuing RV owners who dare park on their own property.

In a separate issue, downtown merchants are being pestered by bylaw enforcement officers concerning sandwich board sidewalk signs.

I just want to make sure I understand this attitude. It’s an offence to place a sandwich board sign on the sidewalk, but it’s alright to ride a bicycle down those same sidewalks?

Does that have anything to do with the safety of pedestrians using those sidewalks, or are bylaw enforcement officers once again doing whatever they can to justify their own continued existence?

In the matter of RV storage, renting space at a commercial storage facility renders the ownership of an RV impractical for many people, besides the fact that there are too few such spaces available in Maple Ridge.

I have been forced to rent space in Pitt Meadows. And periodically we have movie production trailers and other equipment all over downtown lots and few of them seem to be in compliance with the applicable bylaw provisions.

Meanwhile, the tyranny of the bylaw enforcement department will continue until municipal council directs them otherwise.

Sandy Macdougall

Maple Ridge