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

B.C. COVID-19 contact restrictions working, Dr. Bonnie Henry says

’Not out of the woods yet’ as next two weeks are critical

Northwest Regional Airport says ridership extremely low amid COVID-19

The airport has enacted enhanced sanitary measures and reduced flights

Shames Mountain pleads for public to stay away from ski hill following large social gathering

Camera footage shows a parking lot full of people mingling, ignoring social distancing mandate

Fisherman drowns crossing Skeena River

59-year old Prince Rupert victim pronounced dead at Mills Memorial

Coastal GasLink will consult with health authorities before construction recommences

The company continues to perform environmental monitoring, pipe delivery and stockpile

Trudeau announces 75% wage subsidy for small businesses amid COVID-19

This is up from the previously announced 10 per cent wage subsidy

World update, 9:30 p.m. March 27: Positive news in Korea as U.S. hits 100,000 cases

The United States now has the most coronavirus cases of any country in the world

VIDEO: Penguins roam empty halls of Vancouver Aquarium

COVID-19 has forced the Vancouver Aquarium to close access to guests – leaving room for its residents

Kids get back to learning in B.C., online

Ministry of Education rolls out new tool for school

67 more B.C. COVID-19 cases, two more deaths in Vancouver region

Positive tests found in Surrey, Langley long-term care facilities

‘Now is not the time to bag that peak’: BCSAR manager discourages risky outdoor adventures

Call volumes are not going down, even as the COVID-19 pandemic persists

Food Banks BC already seeing surge in demand due to COVID-19 pandemic

Executive director Laura Lansink said they expect applications will keep increasing

Nanaimo couple caught aboard cruise ship with four dead and COVID-19 present

Four ‘older guests’ have died on Holland America’s Zaandam; cruise line confirms two COVID-19 cases

Frontline workers receiving COVID-19 isolation exemptions prompt concerns

Provincial Health Authority staff exempt from self-isolation upon return from international travel

Most Read