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Municipal employment vacancies leads the Town of Greater Napanee to ‘outsource’ bylaw enforcement from Frontenac

Greater Napanee Town Hall. Photo by Bay of Quinte Region.

Bylaw enforcement in Greater Napanee is continuing to be enforced through the Frontenac Municipal Law Enforcement Inc. – for now.

As of December 2019, the Town of Greater Napanee had three Bylaw Enforcement Officers. Since then, one has retired, one has accepted a position with Frontenac Municipal Law Enforcement Inc., and the third accepted a position within the Town’s Development Services department. The two people who have become employed elsewhere accepted higher paying positions.

For years, the Town of Greater Napanee has been in a service agreement with Frontenac Municipal Law Enforcement Inc. for animal control. This includes managing intake and caring of the dog pound on Community Road. Loyalist Township and the Town of Gananoque also have service agreements with Frontenac Municipal Law.

Due to the recent bylaw vacancies with the Town of Greater Napanee, an agreement for yard monitoring and parking monitoring was added to the current service agreement in place with Frontenac Municipal Law. This includes 28 additional hours of bylaw enforcement for the Town of Greater Napanee, at an additional cost of $53,067.

Brandt Zatterberg, General Manager of Community & Corporate Services for the Town of Greater Napanee, presented a recommendation to council on Tuesday, Mar. 23, 2021 that stated:

“With the loss of continuity with the departure of the Town Clerk and the open Legislative Services Coordinator position, staff considers the community will be better served by utilizing the services of Frontenac Municipal Law. The minimum length of time for this service contract should be to the end of this term of Council,” Zatterberg’s report reads.

Zatterberg explained that, since there are other vacancies to be filled, the Town should move forward with its current part-time contract with Frontenac Municipal Law for ease of operations.

“Right now, as it stands, there are four vacancies in the administration department, which is essentially the whole department,” Zatterberg said to council.

Zatterberg said he “would really like to have a clerk in place” before hiring a full time bylaw officer for the Town of Greater Napanee.

“That would allow us time to build the department up to full strength and allow the clerk to have opinion on those positions,” he said.

A vacancy in the clerk’s position plays an important role here with an election coming up soon, he explained.

“It makes natural sense to have an internal bylaw officer… for the clerk to start preparing for election,” Zatterberg said. He recommended that council revisit the agreement with Frontenac Municipal Law in three to four months.

It would “give us time to catch our breath,” Zatterberg said, admitting that it was not a long-term solution, but “a short term answer to a problem.”

Deputy Mayor Max Kaiser agreed that continuing the contract with Frontenac Municipal Law would provide a ‘smoother’ transition, stating, “I think going this way is good in the interim.”

However, members of council felt that a clause should be added to the agreement to give the municipality an “out” if needed. It was suggested that a 30 day clause be added.

“We haven’t committed anything yet, so if it’s the wishes, of council we could add a clause in,” Zatterberg said.

Council also discussed an increased need for bylaw officer availability on weekends. Zatterberg suggested that, in the future, the municipality may consider increasing the department.

 “I think it’s important that we have a full time bylaw officer and we may find that we would even need another part time officer,” Zatterberg said to council.

Council passed a motion to approve Zatterberg’s recommendation, which included an exit clause until the end of the council term.

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