It's Just a Sign:
I would like to comment on the remark Mayor Perry Shmunk made on Ralph's blog in regards to the restaurant sign at LBL.
Thank you Perry for your comment as it was well received. As you stated you are just a man trying to support his family in Tofino. Your letter was well written and had truth, but your last line, is what made me write this editorial.
Like most everyone else in the community we are all trying to survive and enjoy the environment we live in. With this comes laws and bylaws that as citizens we are expected to obey. With all rules and regulations, you will have some who abide and some who don't. For those who choose not to follow the rules, consequences must be expected.
The sign bylaw was put in place many years ago because people did not want to see the beach covered in advertising (yes, that's what it is)(this is also I believe in the OCP ). It does not matter if the sign is nice or ugly, it is simply a bylaw that is in place to protect the natural environment of the beach as much as possible. Yes, others are breaking the same bylaw with little or no consequence, however that does not make it any more right. Unfortunately it is either due to lack of enforcement or lack of public complaining (our bylaw is based on complaints to get any action and as a citizen one can get very tired of complaining and it is not an enjoyable thing to do) that allows for continued bylaw non-compliance.
I strongly believe that you as mayor should be the first to be setting an example of at least abiding by the bylaws we have. Yes, you are employed by LBL, but you are also employed by the citizens of Tofino. Because of this, there will be instances where you will have to decide what comes first, being the mayor of Tofino or an employee of LBL. In this circumstance your comment, "it's just a sign" clearly indicates your decision.
Your employer Tim Hacket went to council to try and get permission for the sign to stand (Sept 2011), and it was never granted. Putting the sign back up in June 2012 with no bylaw variance in place, was completely an "above the law" attitude to your fellow Tofitians(employer). This action really is not so much about the sign as it is about consciously acting in non-compliance to an existing bylaw.
I am only writing this editorial to bring attention to the system that still seems to exist in Tofino. A system where the rules only apply to some and not others. I do hope more people speak up when they feel the laws and the bylaws only apply to a select group and not to everyone. It is not an easy job pleasing everyone, and really I don't think anyone expects you can, however it is pretty easy to respect and honor the laws and the bylaws that already exist as a citizen and a elected member of council. Thank you too for all the positive changes that are taking place they are appreciated.