The city of Cornwall’s bylaw office is under fire again this time for shutting down worm sales on Second Street West by three young children all 10 and under. To say this leave me scratching my head or even frustrated is putting it mildly.
I get there are rules in place and there are people hired to enforce them but even with all that we all have to use common sense in our jobs and daily lives that sometimes make us tweak or adjust according to different situations and circumstances. In this case no common sense was applied.
There seems to be a real disconnect in the bylaw department when it comes to this with the stories of alleged lemonade stands being closed down in the past by the same office.
I know that city council is now going to look into this and the bylaw will be amended or adjusted to make this situation right but it’s already too late. The fact this even happened means it’s been far too long since a good look/review of the bylaws has been done.
Some are saying this only happened because someone complained and the bylaw officer was not searching for it. Even if that is the case, the complainant is well within his or her right to complain, BUT, that doesn’t automatically mean that action this severe needs to be taken. Did the officer then go to his or her supervisor and discuss the situation before doing his or her “job”. Was there lack of common sense from more than one person?
The message this sends to youth in our community and the coverage it may likely get do nobody any good. We promote a program in Cornwall called Summer Company and teach young entrepreneurs the proper way to start and run their own business. I would argue the parents of these three children have planted the seed to entrepreneurship in their kids who may one day be part of that program. They learn that you need to hustle to earn a dollar and the sense of pride one gets when they succeed.
I highly doubt these kids were raking in the dough here. How much can a dozen worms cost? I guess they enjoy the picking process and the little bit of revenue they get with each sale.
The bottom line is simple. These kids need to get the right to sell their worms again. It’s a right of passage for all kids to have a lemonade stand or sell some other things at the curbside during the summer months to learn positive lessons, keep active and stay out of trouble. The bylaw needs to be amended as well to avoid this type of fiasco in the future.
If you see a sign at a fast food restaurant that says “Drive Thru Window” you don’t then plow your car through the nearest pane of glass, right? That is using common sense.
If you happen to find some lying around today feel free to drop it off at the city bylaw office.