Huntsville’s bylaw officers may soon have another tool to deal with violations.
The Draft Administrative Monetary Penalty (AMP) bylaw was approved by General Committee on Wednesday. It allows municipal bylaw officers to issue tickets by mail.
“The issuing of an Administrative Monetary Penalty is quite simple,” Chief Bylaw Enforcement Officer Andrew Stillar told committee. “It is the same process as writing out a ticket, the only difference is the person getting the ticket does not need to be standing in front of you.”
An AMP would need to be issued within 30 days of the infraction, and can rely solely on evidence provided by a complainant, according to a staff report.
If they’d like to dispute the AMP, the recipient can then request a review of the ticket by a screening officer with the town. If they’re not happy with the screen officer’s decision, they can appeal to a third-party hearing officer at a location in town, who will give the final decision.
The role of hearing officer could be filled by a paralegal, according to Stillar, and will be an on-call position rather than full-time.
According to Stillar, it saves time and money for both the recipient and the town, not needing to go through provincial courts.
“It keeps it out of the courts, the town is not required to hire legal services to represent us to defend it, [and] everything is in-house,” said Stillar. “The only cost would be for the hearings officer.”
Now that General Committee has given the thumbs-up, the town will put out a Request For Quote for the hearing officer position. The AMP bylaw still needs to be ratified at council this month.