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.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

 

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

Big Beach parties spark concern in Ucluelet

“You find needles, left over party debris, bottles and still burning fires.”

Ucluelet’s Terrace Beach Resort is for sale

The commercial offering of 21 suites and cabins was recently listed for $4,495,000

Young tourist caught untying boats from Ucluelet dock

“He was just untying the boats and watching them float away,” said Harbour Master Kevin Cortes.

Feds announce $8.3M to deal with ‘ghost’ fishing gear in B.C. waters

Ghost gear accounts for up to 70 per cent of all macro-plastics in the ocean by weight

Ucluelet RCMP warns of scammers impersonating police

“Police will never demand payment of any kind to get rid of an arrest warrant.”

B.C. sees 25 new COVID-19 cases, community exposure tracked

One death, outbreaks remain in two long-term care facilities

VIDEO: Vancouver Island cat missing 18 months reunited with family

Blue the cat found at Victoria museum 17 kilometres from home

VIDEO: Alberta man rescues baby eagle believed to be drowning in East Kootenay lake

Brett Bacon was boating on a lake in Windermere when he spotted the baby eagle struggling in the water

Vancouver Island business ad unintentionally features OK gesture linked to white supremacy

Innocuous ‘OK’ gesture in cleaning franchise advertisement gets flak on social media for ‘supposedly’ promoting white supremacy

Minivan driver’s speed a factor in fatal 2018 Malahat crash

Driver was travelling at 110 km/h in a construction zone

WATCH: Tofino youth choir sing tribute song to front-line workers

Wickaninnish Elementary students release virtual rendition of ‘A Thousand Suns’ by Hey Rosetta!

Comox Valley RCMP looking for missing woman

Ami Guthrie was last seen in Courtenay in early July

Conservationists raise concerns over state of care for grizzly cubs transferred to B.C. zoo

‘Let them be assessed now before their fate is sealed,’ urges B.C. conservationist Barb Murray

B.C.’s COVID-19 job recovery led by tourism, finance minister says

Okanagan a bright spot for in-province visitor economy

Most Read