Court of Public Opinion: Neighbour Wars and your...
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Jul 14, 2014  |  Vote 0    0

Court of Public Opinion: Neighbour Wars and your tax dollars

This week's CoPO asks: "Are 311 service requests to address neighbourly disputes a waste of taxpayer dollars?"

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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?

The Court is in session.

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(3) Comment

By Alex | JULY 16, 2014 01:57 PM
@John - its a waste of civic resources until it happens to you. Try living next to a rental property that has almost 1/2 dozen vehicles and so they have to park on the front lawn - or that dog that just won't shut up... wish there were laws preventing people sitting on their front porch smoking and dropping f-bombs while kids are playing out front.
By David | JULY 15, 2014 09:02 PM
On the contrary, stricter fines and, when appropriate, jail time would serve to limit the very serious damage that often results from real disuptes between neighbours. Just as family-based crime is often the most gruesome, so too is neighbour-based crime.
By John | JULY 15, 2014 08:07 PM
It's self-evident these petty dust-ups are a waste of civic resources. Warring neighbours should be kicked in the fanny and then out of town. They are the new tiresome ones.
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