The Court of Public Opinion is a place where readers are welcome to debate all sides of the day's issue.
In Robert Frost's 1914 poem Mending Wall, the speaker engages in a tiresome exchange with his neighbour with whom he shares the yearly task of repairing a stone wall separating their properties. The speaker insists on taking down the barrier, while the neighbour refuses, repeating the adage: "Good fences make good neighbours." A full century later, fences -- whether too tall or too far over a property line - are causing bad blood between neighbours, and worse, full-blown neighbour wars.
Neighbour wars have been making headlines recently, resulting in some hilarious commentary from dispute adjudicators and also some stiff new legislation. In these cases, disputes between neighbours have escalated to numerous 311 complaints, thousands of dollars on legal fees for the warring parties and hours spent by civil servants at various levels of government investigating and adjudicating such matters that, perhaps, a civilized conversation between adults could have resolved.
This week, CoPO asks: Are 311 service requests to address neighbourly disputes a waste of taxpayer dollars?
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