June 21, 2011

Observations from “a resident with a perspective to share”

A few weeks back when I was involved in my usual early morning routine of retrieving beer bottles and plastic cups from my garden and the front lawns of my elderly neighbours, I noticed that two limbs were broken off the tree on the boulevard …  Two weeks ago my neighbor across the street had his front window broken and his fence damaged by students … The other issue that is slowly coming to a head is my ongoing attempts to have municipal bylaws
enforced … like the community’s apparent inability to enforce laws prohibiting open alcohol on the street, you can appreciate how stressful and frustrating it is for residents to live in a situation where regulations are presumably in place to protect their property and quality of life – and yet they seem to serve little purpose. … There is a strong market for footloose entrepreneurs and retirees with resources. These individuals will come to Wolfville; they will invest in the community; they will revitalize existing housing stock or purchase high density and high quality new residences …  [BUT] if it takes 12‐18 months (or more) to have straightforward municipal bylaws enforced; if 3 nights every week they must put up with excessive noise; property damage; public mischief and litter; if when they walk to the Farmers Market on Saturday morning they have to walk around broken beer bottles – they won’t come to Wolfville, or if they come, they won’t stay.

From  an attachment to the Agenda package for the Community Development Committee meeting for  Thursday, June 23, 2011  (7:00pm Council Chambers): Do read the whole thing.

We are sorry to say we have heard similar comments presented to Town Council before. We don’t have to lose a hockey game to have mob mayhem on OUR streets.

The memorandums preceding this letter are also of interest. New by-laws — but if the Town cannot enforce the ones they have what is the point.

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7 responses to “June 21, 2011

  1. Betty Morgan

    What you say is true. We got fed up with living in the town of Berwick because of a neighbour who ignored his two big Collie dogs that barked all night, endlessly barking at nothing. It kept us awake one night too long. We put the house up for sale and left the town we had lived in for three years when we found out that even though there was a by law that prevented people from having barking dogs annoy people, there was no consequence or fine for allowing it. No “or else” – which means that dogs were free to do what they like in Berwick and the owners could not be made to stop them. So, before we left, we parked in his driveway one morning at five o’clock and honked the horn until he came out. He said he didn’t hear them barking. Everyone around him did.

    It seems there are no consequences for bad behaviour any more. It is hard to be peaceful when you have to put up with ignorance and stupidity. We could protest and get even.
    Senior Citizens unite!!!

  2. I don’t share Jim’s curmudgeonly perspective on university students. Of course, young people do get a bit loutish from time to time…. and that can be a right royal pain, for sure, the old-folks have every right to throw their own little wobbly in return. But the pain that brings the curmudgeon out in me is caused by busy-body, over-taxing, Councils that profess virtues that they do not actually have.

    I’m not a fan of bylaws. Frankly, I don’t see anything wrong with having a glass of wine in public… and neither does Council, because Council routinely allows some drinking/dining establishments to expand their premises into already congested public walk/roadways.

    With better planning we might have had a more effective separation of “old folks” from drinking establishments and annoyingly boisterous youngsters. This town has a totally irrational layout. So what are they planning? Increasing density! That’s right, cram more incompatible people into a even tighter space… Planning? Bulldust!

    I don’t totally agree with Jim, for example:
    “… And perhaps best of all – people accustomed to paying taxes in Oakville Ontario or Manhattan, New York – will not complain about property taxes assuming that the lifestyle for which they came to Wolfville is protected.”
    It is right and proper to complain about our excessive taxes… I see Jim’s proposition as thinly disguised cultural cleansing, the rightly complaining poor to be displaced by those too rich to even notice the excesses of Council, let alone complain. Sure, they throw a bone to the poor fund, but keep the quagmire that causes the problem. Bulldust! Thomas Sowell would say it better.

    The lifestyle here does have something to do with this being a university town, I recall. Students are sometimes an inconvenient part of a university town… I challenge university students to make a few suggestions that are a little more clever, and a little more workable, than bludgeoning us all with ever more repressive bylaws!

    • Do you think there is a line that shouldn’t be crossed? Is there a difference between youthful hi-jinx by ” boisterous youngsters”, and wanton vandalism? Is smashing of window boxes, pulling flowers from baskets, and smashing business windows, necessary to have a good time? Not to mention the break-ins. I don’t think we need by-laws, I think we need real consequences for people – of whatever age or state of inebriation- that cross that line. Especially when the Town is paying 1 million plus for policing. If the Town could fine Acadia when their students are caught damaging property the University would care because Acadia only cares when it affects the bottom line.

      • I agree, there is a line that should not be crossed and there are existing laws. (And a very high-priced police force.)

        Legislative/policing authority should not be used to enforce the biases or preferences of this or that group/individual. My trigger finger gets mighty twitchy whenever it looks like this line is in danger of being crossed… That letter from Jim raised my hackles.

  3. Betty Morgan

    Those who vandalize and destroy are merely exhibiting a reflection of how they were raised. Some people build, others destroy.

    Some people allow their kids to watch destruction, others allow their kids to go out and play.

    Some kids are taught respect for people and belongings, others are taught wastefulness and neglect.

    We can’t fix anything simply by complaining about it.

  4. Betty Morgan

    Note to self: Self – Do not go into Wolfville to do errands on Wednesday mornings or for lunch time. The stench from the green bins of the 11 or 12 eating places around the town square are pretty horrible. I thought something had been done about that, but apparently the warm weather has exacerbated the problem. I hope there will be lots of fragrant flowers in the new park. We are going to need them.

  5. MJ McMaster

    I’m with you! Too bad that green carts are not regularly cleaned by the owners let alone returned to premises ASAP after pickup- pickup time doesn’t vary from week to week so there is no excuse for leaving the cart at the curb for the entire day, especially in the business core where employees are present throughout the day. I view the green cart as a privilege- NS has led the way in recycling and friends in other parts of Canada still do not have this composting opportunity.