Why does it take so long for the Town to respond to my complaint?
What is a reasonable time to have a complaint responded to?
How to file an official complaint?
What does the Town do once an official complaint is received?
When there are unofficial complaints vetted in coffee shops, on social media, etc. how does the Town respond?
How are unofficial complaints damaging to the community?
Who can be impacted by inaccurate information and negative imaging?
What effects does inaccurate information and negative imaging have on the community?
What can people of the community do to stop spreading inaccurate information and projecting negative imaging?
- how many staff are available to respond, some departments have part time staff, volunteer staff, only one staff member, or other factors come into play (e.g. sickness, injury, time off, etc.);
- priority complaints that need to be responded to first (e.g., leaking fire hydrant, water main break, etc.);
- operational shut downs take priority over routine maintenance complaints (e.g. water treatment plant, lift station, pool, etc.);
- complaints receiving highest priority are complaints where there is high potential of injuries, claims, or potential for liability;
- time sensitive commitments (e.g., removing/installing dirt from arena, decommissioning of swimming pool, in house projects, etc.);
- contractor availability (e.g., concrete work, heavy equipment work, etc.);
- budget constraints (e.g., work may be put over to next year);
- adverse weather conditions (e.g. seasonally higher precipitation, extreme weather, etc.).
Many complaints can be resolved within a week or two, if not sooner. Complaints that require law enforcement involvement, can take months to resolve, as legislative processes may be required to enforce a matter. Complaints that require manpower, equipment, allocation of funding, or scheduling of third party contractors which takes time to schedule and budgetary considerations may come into play.
Please contact the Town Office directly or fill out the on line form as this is the only way an official complaint will be accepted. Town elected officials and staff are directed to forward all complainants to the Town Office to file an official complaint. Official complaints received directly at the Town are documented, sent to the applicable department for actioning, then categorized, analyzed, and reviewed by the Chief Administrative Officer. An official complaint will require the documentation of the complainant’s name, specific details about the complaint, and necessary contact information. If the complainant is unwilling to give this information, no official complaint is documented. If the complaint is unfounded, unsubstantiated, frivolous, vexatious or made in bad faith, no further investigation will proceed. The details of an official complaint are confidential and not released to the party being complained about; however, in some instances where a charge has been laid as a direct result of a complaint and the charge is appealed to the Court of Queen’s Bench, the complainant may be required to appear at Court to provide evidence if there is only eye witness’ evidence. The Town takes every effort to gather additional sufficient evidence so that complainants are not required to appear at Court. Very few complaints actually require a complainant to appear in Court to provide evidence in support of a charge.
The Town must exercise due diligence, this could include inspecting a location, documenting the inspection, placing of signs, scheduling a contractor to complete the work, placement of barricades, ordering necessary supplies, forwarding the complaint to a facility operator, or to another entity responsible for the matter etc. e.g. complaints specific to maintenance, sweeping, snow removal, line painting and condition of gravel or paved access aprons, streets, avenues, alleys, approaches off of 50th Street. Keep in mind that 45th Avenue, and 52nd Street which makeup Highway 22 are the responsibility of the Province.
Unofficial complaints are often unknown to Town Officials. These complaints are not documented, and are not followed up by the Town. The Town cannot address unofficial or official complaints whereby the complainant does not wish to have their information documented. Unofficial complaints vetted on social media, in coffee shops, etc. often contain inaccurate information, can result in misinformation being shared, can lead to unfounded accusations/defamation, and can place individuals or parties in a liable position for which they may not wish to find themselves involved in.
Unofficial complaints can result in inaccurate information and negative imaging being sent to the community, the region, the province, the nation, and the world. This may send a damaging perception of public facilities within the community, of the people who live in the community, and of the businesses that are offering services in the community.
People considering moving into the community, visitors and tourists considering stopping in the community, investors considering developing in the community, or that may be looking to purchase an existing businesses being offered in the community, industry that is looking to locate into the community and region, and organizations that are looking for centralized locations to host regional events and competitions in the community.
Misinformation can damage the overall economy of the community, can cost the municipality and tax payer money, time, and resources, can result in lost opportunities for new investment, new housing, new facilities, can result in slowing down and misallocation of resources.
Visit the Town Office and find out the facts, provide ideas and suggestions, file official complaints to ensure items are documented, seek information and gain a clear understanding of why the Town does things a certain way, become an ambassador (promoter) of the Town when speaking or communicating on social media, help market the Town (public facilities, existing businesses, and opportunities) in a positive manner, volunteer on committees, volunteer on operating societies, respond to surveys, give input at open houses, public hearings, consultations, and attend Coffee with Council. You could also contact Councillors and provide them with ideas and opportunities, help Council establish priorities and goals for the community going forward, be a part of shaping the future of the community. If you need more information on these items, please contact the Town Office.