Bylaw officers in Vernon were very busy last year. A report to council shows a 13% increase in the number of files.
The total number of files investigated went from 4,175 to 4,719 in 2017. Major contributors affecting the total volume of complaints include an 8.5 % increase (1085 to 1178) in Traffic/Parking Complaints, and a 46.7% increase (758 to 1112) in Parks and Public Places related complaints. In
addition, a 12.9 % increase in Panhandling complaints (231 to 261) occurred which
coupled with the previous increased categories, required significant resources.
The report states: additional seasonal enforcement officers (initially 2 FT Officers for 4 months)
funded from unexpended 2015 budget, assisted with Parks and Public Places
monitoring, regulation of homeless camps and participated in social agency outreach
teams. The 2017 Summer Seasonal Enforcement Program was initially planned to run
from May 15 to September 15, but was extended in order to deal with ongoing issues
with homelessness, to November 3rd with additional funding provided by Council. The
Summer Student — Noxious Weeds assisted with both proactive and reactive invasive
plant enforcement, and provided additional aid in assisting with 154 noxious
weed/property maintenance files over the summer. Even with the assistance of the
seasonal enforcement team, regular officers worked with significant file loads during
peak periods, on occasion having 100 or more open files per FT Officer. Officers still
have substantial file backlogs, with 149 files from 2017 remaining open at this time.
Yearly Comparison Report
File loads for staff continue to increase, with a year-end increase of 544 files (+13%)
over the previous year. The increased demands dealing with complaints related to
the Homeless or Transient population concerns continued from the year previous
with 1289 Files reported by members of the public or generated by staff (2016 - 797)
for a 61.7% increase in that category. The increase in files related to homeless and
transient population related files were offset with a reduction in noise complaints.
It is expected that the trend will continue with 2018 surpassing 2017 complaint