In response to Pat Sunderland's article, "City of Delta's building inspector draws fire," page A3 of the Sept. 13 issue of the DCI, please note the numerous times we obediently honor and recognize the "rules of the road" while driving around our fair city. Imagine, if you can, having no stop signs nor stop lights, no speed limits nor lane markings, no pedestrian crosswalks nor designated parking spaces, no traffic regulations at all. We would be free to drive as fast as we wish, wherever we wished to drive and park, in whatever manner we chose in the moment, without those inconvenient impediments taking our time and wasting gas while stopped. Without traffic regulations to enforce, there would be no need for traffic cops to patrol the streets -- no law enforcement necessary.
Absurd as it may seem, this condition parallels and highlights the necessity for the adoption of building codes to bring a semblance of order to the construction process that aims at ensuring the health, safety and welfare of a building's users and occupants. Ever since Mrs. O'Leary's legendary cow kicked over the lantern in the mostly wood-framed combustible congestion of Chicago, building codes have evolved, expanded and responded to numerous accidents, use of dangerous materials and methods of construction, as well as natural disasters, in an attempt to protect the innocent from those who would benefit from ignoring known construction hazards.
Delta's situation with regard to attracting new businesses and facilities is not unique; it suffers the same dialectic conflict between the rights of private ownership and the needs of the larger community for stable and orderly growth, thereby preserving, and perhaps increasing, our "standard of living," i.e. a good life. Actually, it is an advantage to firms contemplating locating in Delta to know what the established rules are, as opposed to not having a vetted code to work from, which might deter their interest because of the multiplicity of unknown conditions.
Your managing editor's article might have mentioned the fact that the "rules of the road" for construction -- those pesky code requirements -- were adopted and put in place by the city council of Delta, the very institution whose elected councilperson now complains of its enforcement. Do not attack the code enforcement officer for doing his job to the best of his ability, which in the estimation of this writer is considerable. Rather, kindly realize that if there is a problem with the code, it is the city council's duty to confirm or deny the necessity of the code and/or details therein and to rectify, modify, eliminate or otherwise mandate the "rules of the road" for construction that will provide the same level of health, safety and welfare as does the present lawfully enacted code.
Delta is uniquely fortunate to have a dedicated public servant in the person of Dan Reardon, the current building inspector and code enforcement officer, whose courtesy, diligence and professional knowledge has, for these many years, guided and benefited the citizens of Delta in their quest for orderly "rules of the road" in construction.