Wednesday, April 17, 2024

Desperate Measures, Do We Really Need More Signs?

I don’t drive. I walk. I see. I see every day. People take dogs to the parks and playgrounds and let them out.

This is absolutely a great idea, and I could not agree more. The article “Councillor’s Notice of Motion would create smoke-free areas near town’s recreational facilities” published in THE AURORAN, Week of August 2, 2011 on page 3 was an interesting read and in my favour. Councillor Abel proposed to increase smoke-free areas around recreational facilities, including playgrounds.

This situation brought to mind our recent trip to the Towns Park splash pad, where we unfortunately had to endure the presence of individuals smoking nearby. Despite our discomfort, we were unable to intervene as our son was engrossed in play. This forced us to cut short our visit to the pad. It is a common belief that most people would refrain from smoking in the vicinity of children or in public spaces. However, this assumption is not always accurate, as I have witnessed numerous instances of parents smoking around their own children and in the presence of others at playgrounds.

He also stated “it would take a lot of funds and resources to monitor these sorts of events.” I could not agree more again. These are all valid statements. They are in favour of our children and who would not agree. So I was agreeing while reading this article – yes, yes this is good.

But wait a minute, there is something wrong with this picture.

How possibly can I agree on the above? NO, I WILL NOT. It will be just another useless sign put out in our town.

The article “Residents semi-successful in dangerous dog appeal” published the Week of August 9, 2011, on the front page of THE AURORAN is a perfect example of useless signs in our Town. If the town enforced the by-law for dogs off the leash (a rope or similar material attached to the neck or head of an animal for restraint or control), we would not have this incident in the first place.

I am repeating this again and again. I had a dog jump on me last year (a friendly puppy according to the owner). I had another dog charging at me on the soccer field where the owner had to raise a serious voice at them in order for them to get back and be leashed, and these were not small dogs. Their size was probably close to that of a German Shepherd. I continue to see dog owners letting their dogs off the leash.

I don’t drive. I walk. I see. I see every day. People take dogs to the parks and playgrounds and let them out. Then why bother having just another useless sign if it’s not enforced?

Last spring, I was completely disgusted and tired of bringing home dirty shoes, and not just from dirt. The melted snow revealed a lot of hidden illegal doggy treasures. Now I see it is happening again. A month ago, I noticed someone took the time to create these homemade signs with plastic covers (made of plastic so they last longer) asking politely to scoop the poop after the dog. The signs appeared all around Hamilton Park.

Attention dog owners

I noticed about 6 of them plastered all over the posts and garbage cans. Desperate measures, residents acting on their own wasting their time and resources on top of the tax dollars they have to pay to keep our streets clean. Then why bother having just another useless sign if not enforced.

Attention dog owners again

The other time I wrote about people dumping in front, not just close by, but in front of the No Dumping sign – By Law No Dumping Dump Ditty Dump Dump Dump. Then why bother having just another useless sign if not enforced.

How about no litter signs? We need those too, but then why bother having just another useless sign which will not be enforced.

Littering, McKenzie Marsh

[Thinking] I have an idea. Instead of another sign, I think we should have a column in our local newspaper from the Town of Aurora dedicated to all the by-laws in town, stating fines as well. It would probably raise eyebrows for some. Here is an example.

Dear Aurora Residents:

Please keep your dogs on a leash at all times, day or night, or face a fine of $$$.

Remember to pick up after your dog in all four beautiful seasons – fall, winter, spring, and summer – or face a fine of $$$.

Pick Up After Your Dog – sign

Do not leave a bag full of poop hanging on the tree in the park; otherwise, $$$ fine.

Stop dumping in front of No Dumping signs. We know who you are – your patio is looking great. Fine $$$.

Do not litter. If we don’t fine you, we will pass the charge on to Tim Hortons and McDonald’s for littering. Fine $$$.

Try not to hide a 4th or 5th dog or cat in the house. Fine $$$ for every animal over the limit.

Do not let the cat go outside before going to the litter box; otherwise, $$$ fine.

When parking on the street, don’t just rotate your tires every 24 hours, move to the next spot. Fine $$$.

When you have dust in your eyes, you forgot to use a water jet when cutting stone. Fine $$$, more fine for dust in your neighbour’s eyes.

Idling car

It is evident that simply adding more signs to our Town will not solve the issue at hand. What we truly need is effective enforcement of by-laws and the implementation of substantial fines. By taking action against illegal activities, we can not only cover the salary of a dedicated by-law enforcement officer but also generate additional revenue for the Town. It is imperative that we prioritize practical solutions over superficial measures.

Joking aside, I believe that Councillor Abel’s Notice of Motion for a smoke-free environment is commendable. However, it is important to assess the current by-law signs and their impact. This is a crucial aspect to consider moving forward.


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