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Bylaws department is broken

Gerry Brifett has been asked to remove a banner hanging from his Gold Rush Jewellers store on 224th Street in Maple Ridge.

Editor, The News:

Re: Has Maple Ridge become police state? (Letters, June 3).

Enough already. It’s clear that Maple Ridge’s bylaws department is out of control.

This department, along with the mayor and council, needs to be reminded that the purpose of municipal government is to provide services to the community, not to tell us what we can and can’t do. You work for us.

With the apparent blessing of our elected officials, the bylaws department seems bent on trying to control more and more aspects of our daily lives, providing little value to the community, while wasting taxpayers’ precious dollars. This has to stop.

This department is an embarrassment to the community, and the entire bylaw process is broken.

I call on the mayor and council to put an immediate halt to all activities in the bylaws department and temporarily re-assign its personnel to duties that actually provide value to our community.

I then call for the creation of a bylaws oversight committee, manned by volunteer citizens, with a mandate to review all existing bylaws and rescind any that do not provide direct value to the community, infringe on personal liberties, or duplicate existing provincial or federal laws.

Only when this review is complete would bylaws enforcement resume, but with oversight from a similar panel of concerned citizens.

Membership in the Facebook protest page ‘Maple Ridge Bylaws’ is growing; the mayor and council would be wise to not underestimate the power of social media and start really listening to the people they serve.

Social media has been instrumental in toppling entire governments; with municipal elections coming this fall, the replacement of our elected officials with people capable of reigning in the bylaw department should be child’s play.

Bruce Butler

Maple Ridge

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