JOHN ARENDT CONTEMPLATING OPPOSITION Mayor Peter Waterman has received harshly worded emails and messages criticizing some of his positions. He has also had some graffiti, targeting him personally, in part of the community. More recently, dead rats have been left on his doorstep.

Dead rats on doorstep greets Summerland mayor

Two rodents have been delivered to Peter Waterman’s doorstep

Mayor Peter Waterman said he is concerned with the angry, hateful tone of opposition he has been receiving since the summer.

On the morning of Aug. 15, Waterman found a dead rat, stuffed inside a cracker box, on the doorstep of his home.

The next day, some time between 9 a.m. and noon, a second rat was left on his doorstep.

“It was done in broad daylight,” he said. “It was pretty brazen.”

There were no notes accompanying the dead rodents, but Waterman believes they were left because he chose to reopen the discussion on a proposed regional compost facility for the community.

The compost facility, which had been rejected in late October in a 6-1 vote was back on the Summerland municipal council agenda at the Nov. 14 council meeting.

Waterman reintroduced the discussion using Section 131(1) of the Community Charter, since he believed council had not given the matter adequate consideration and needed more information.

The compost issue was defeated a second time.

While Waterman accepts the decision of council, he said the reactions he has received from the public are disturbing.

In addition to the two dead rats, Waterman said graffiti naming him has also been left on a concrete barrier along the road near the Summerland landfill.

Municipal crews quickly painted over the graffiti, but within an hour, the message was left again.

A few weeks later, another graffiti message was left, again naming Waterman. This time, municipal crews used black paint to cover the message.

Waterman has also received emails with severe messages and had been told by one person of a threat against him.

Police have been contacted and have been investigating the incidents.

He said he and others on council have been subjected to bullying and verbal abuse because of their positions on controversial issues.

“It worries me,” he said. “Is this the way we’re going to respond to issues?”

Waterman said the aggressive tone in Summerland politics is something he has noticed since the election of 2008.

That year, in what has been described as a polarizing election campaign, Waterman lost his mayoral bid to Janice Perrino by 500 votes.

At the time and later, Waterman said the opposition to his campaign took on a personal tone and included character attacks.

“The difference now is the severity of the opposition,” he said.

Despite the recent incidents, Waterman believes most in the community are more moderate and do not support the bullying, intimidation or threats.

“I think this is limited to very few people,” he said. “There are individuals who are now standing up and saying this is not acceptable.

 

JOHN ARENDT CONTEMPLATING OPPOSITION Mayor Peter Waterman has received harshly worded emails and messages criticizing some of his positions. He has also had some graffiti, targeting him personally, in part of the community. More recently, dead rats have been left on his doorstep.

Just Posted

Three generations of trauma: Phyllis Webstad shares experience in residential school

The creator of Orange Shirt Day is in the Comox Valley, speaking about the trauma of residential schools

Comox Valley Airport features work from nationally renown artist

A significant new painting “Lions of the Sea,” featuring life-sized stellar and… Continue reading

Comox Valley Hospice Society Ultimate Fifty/50 Raffle winner announced

James Maxwell bought his ticket at Canadian Tire

Dinner, dance in honour of Kenny Shaw

Comox Legion honours one of the Valley’s prominent volunteers

‘She’s charging. Oh God’: Mama grizzly runs at B.C. man armed with shotgun

People online were quick to question – and defend – a man’s decision to shoot a grizzly bear charging him on a Bella Coola front yard

Comox Valley gives back

A look at some of the organizations and individuals who help out in the community

Island Health encourages sexual assault survivors to #TrustYourself

New social media campaign urges survivors of sexual assault to seek medical care

Canada announces $20M fund for women entrepreneurs

New federal program will provide up to $100,000 for female business owners to grow their operations

Vancouver Island man claims falling ice smashed his truck windshield

Man discovered volleyball-sized chunk ice on his truck Saturday, near Nanaimo, B.C.

B.C. veteran combats PTSD in the ring and on the farm

Cam Tetrault is a valuable contributor at Quesnel’s Two Rivers Boxing Club

B.C. vegan butcher to appear on Dragons’ Den

Victoria’s Very Good Butchers will star in Nov. 29 episode

Fast ferries from B.C. spotted in Egypt

Controversial aluminum BC Ferries vessels ’big white elephants covered in dust,’ eyewitness says

Canadian troops, families take shelter in hotel after Florida hurricane

Most of the Canadians were evacuated from the military base before Hurricane Michael

Most Read