Changes result in spike in Revelstoke bylaw enforcement files in 2015

Number of files handled by Revelstoke bylaw enforcement enforcers more than doubles in 2015.

Bylaw enforcement officers Blaine Schraeder (left) and Joe Marcoffio present to council last Tuesday

Revelstoke bylaw enforcement officers handled more than twice as many files in 2015 as in the previous year.

In fact, the 785 files handled last year was more than the previous two years combined, with the spike largely driven by a huge increase in traffic and parking files.

Bylaw Enforcemebt Officers Joe Marcoffio, Blaine Schraeder and Darryl Cancelliere went in front of Revelstoke council on Tuesday to talk about their work. The city contracts with BC Commissionaires to perform bylaw enforcement and animal control.

The most notable aspect of their presentation was the fact they responded to 785 files in 2015, compared to 300 in 2014 and 320 in 2013. Those numbers don’t include animal control calls.

The spike was largely due to increased response to traffic and parking issues. BC Commissionaires dealt with 498 such files in 2015, up front 142 in 2014 and 51 in 2013. They also dealt with more garbage issues (43 in 2015, up from 16 in 2014), illegal camping (34 in 2015, up from five in 2014) and unsightly premises (50 in 2015 compared to 23 in 2014).


Why the increase?


Officer Joe Marcoffio told council it was due to more proactive enforcement, better use of time and the changing demographics of Revelstoke.


“I think these calls for service, these issues, have always been here, it’s just that we’ve been a little bit more proactive, and more out on the street and involved in enforcing these,” he said.


Dawn Levesque, the city’s director of corporate administration, said the increase was also due to a restructuring of bylaw enforcement in 2014. Responsibility for bylaw enforcement was moved to the administration department from the planning department, and all bylaw enforcement was brought under the auspices of the Commissionaires. Previously, municipal bylaws were also enforced by public works and building inspection.


“Consolidation into one department has allowed for improved record keeping and more effective complaint management,” she wrote in an e-mail. “The Commissionaires have also increased their active enforcement operations.”


The city is proposing to increasie its budget for bylaw enforcement and animal control in 2016, increasing the number of hours to 40 from 30. The draft budget proposes an increase in spending to $150,050 in 2016, from $132,550 in 2015. The city spent an average of $112,661 per year on bylaw enforcement from 2012–2014.


Councillor Trevor English, the chair of the city’s security committee, said the proposed increase was due to the officers’ extra workload. “They’re just so busy. For them to be able to get through everything, they need more hours,” he said. “The calls for service can’t go unanswered. We have to be addressing complaints.”


Like most delegations to council at this time of year, Marcoffio was there to argue the case for the increased budget.


“We really feel as an enforcement unit our number one priority is public safety and quality of living,” he said. “We see them as separate but they work together. We are community ambassadors but we also do enforcement.”


The Commissionaires enforce municipal bylaws from parking violations to illegal camping to watering restrictions. They seek out voluntary compliance, but can also hand out tickets and take someone to court if necessary. The city collects about $4,700 in fines per year. Marcoffio said they could be more effective with more resources.


“Some of the files we’re getting are becoming more complex,” he said. “They take more time, more effort, and that takes us off the road.”


Marcoffio said they have been trying to increase their presence in the community, but that confrontation by the public is on the rise — something he called “unacceptable.”


“It destroys the perception of enforcement officers and the city involved, and it makes us less effective,” he told council. “It undermines authority of us and places us in more harm by having individuals challenge us further if they see there are no consequences to that.”


English said the security committee would be having further discussion on the role of bylaw enforcement this month.




Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

B.C. Green Party leader Sonia Furstenau outlines her party's climate action platform at Nanaimo's Vancouver Island Conference Centre earlier this month. (News Bulletin file photo)
Green leader Furstenau declared victor in her home riding on Vancouver Island

Cowichan Valley voters elect freshly minted party leader for her second term

John Horgan has been re-elected the MLA for Langford-Juan de Fuca. (File-Black Press)
Horgan trounces challengers to be re-elected in his Vancouver Island riding

MLA has represented constituency of Langford-Juan de Fuca and its predecessors since 2005

Firefighters and RCMP are on scene at a fire on Douglas Street. (Jocelyn Doll - Revelstoke Review)
PHOTOS: Firefighters battling blaze on Douglas Street

RCMP are also on scene and blocking off access to the street

COVID-19. (Image courtesy CDC)
Interior Health reports 18 COVID-19 cases, highest daily count since July

The total of COVID-19 cases in the region is now at 662

A Kelowna clinic decided to immunize their patients in a drive-thru flu clinic earlier this month. (Twila Amato - Black Press Media)
Interior Health anticipates increase in flu vaccinations this season

Some 300,000 doses of flu vaccine ready for distribution across Southern Interior

B.C. provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry gives a daily briefing on COVID-19 cases at an almost empty B.C. Legislature press theatre in Victoria, B.C., on March 25, 2020. (Don Craig/B.C. government)
B.C. sees 223 new COVID-19 cases, now 2,009 active

Two new care home outbreaks in Surrey, Burnaby

Canada’s Chief Public Health Officer Theresa Tam responds to a question during a news conference Friday October 23, 2020 in Ottawa. Canada’s top physician says she fears the number of COVID-19 hospitalizations and deaths may increase in the coming weeks as the second wave continues to drive the death toll toward 10,000. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Canada’s top doctor warns severe illness likely to rise, trailing spike in COVID-19 cases

Average daily deaths from virus reached 23 over the past seven days, up from six deaths six weeks ago

Voters are saying they felt safe voting in person despite the current pandemic. (Phil McLachlan - Capital News)
Central Okanagan voters talk about their pandemic election experience

Despite an election taking place during COVID-19, residents said they felt safe voting in person

Cole Collingwood casts his mock ballot at Vernon’s Mission Hill Elementary School ahead of the provincial election Oct. 24, 2020. (Brendan Shykora - Morning Star)
PHOTOS: Okanagan students cast mock election ballots

At Mission Hill Elementary, the election is a chance to learn about the democratic process

Thanks to efforts by a Kelowna shelter and Elections BC, anyone who wishes to can vote in the 2020 BC Provincial Election, even if they don’t have a fixed address. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck)
Kelowna group ensures people experiencing homelessness can vote

Shelter supervisor says voting ‘a fundamental right’ even for those without a fixed address

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

(Big White Ski Resort photo)
Big White receives 21 cm of snow in 24 hours

Resort’s snow base 41 cm deep, one month until opening day

The deer were allegedly shot within Princeton town limits, late at night. Black Press File Photo.
Armed man, in full camouflage, allegedly shoots deer in downtown Princeton

‘The list of charges goes on and on,’ said RCMP Sgt. Rob Hughes

Most Read