Local Health Officer Training
Section 6: You Make the Call
As the LHO, you will receive a variety of complaints. You may have to determine whether a complaint is legitimate before proceeding. Every complaint is important; treat every case seriously. Consult the flowchart so you are consistent in your actions. As can be seen by these three differing situations, there will generally be a statute appropriate for most situations. Some statutes will help more than others.
As stated previously, the LHO has to present himself/herself in a professional, polite, and respectful manner. Most importantly, use the due process law when dealing with the public.
It is unlikely that situations will be the same. People often see the same situation differently. It is important to make sure you have someone visit the property with you, as in the case of the OWB. Although you cannot be all things to all people, you can be an important contributor to the overall health of your community.
Whether the problem is simple or complex, analyze the facts, and determine whether the situation is LHO appropriate. If you have done your best to resolve the complaint but the situation cannot be easily resolved, the municipality has the options to: (a) put a lien on the property, if allowed, or (b) have the CEO go to court under the authority of Rule 80K, or (c) an attorney can be hired to represent the town in court. In such cases the municipality may not want to make the investment (time and money), However, the complainant can take the matter to court. The municipality is only required to solve some problems - but not most.