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

FILE - Nathan Cullen speaks to media in Smithers, B.C., Friday, February 28, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
More calls come in for Cullen’s removal as NDP candidate

Gitxsan Hereditary Chiefs demand Cullen’s removal. Ellis says, There’s no place in B.C. for racism

BC Liberal Party candidate for the North Coast Roy Jones Jr. will hold virtual face-to-face meetings for North Coast communities on Oct. 18. (Photo: K-J Millar/The Northern View)
BC Liberal Candidate Roy Jones Jr, will meet constituents virtually

Face to face conversations will be held on Oct. 18 for North Coast communities

Kelly Lynn Whitney has been acclaimed as the successful candidate on Oct. 16, in the Village of Port Clements by Election. Seen in photos Kelly Whitney-Gould is pictured putting finishing touches on “Ms. Gnomer’s Home 4 Wayward Folk.” (Kelly Whitney-Gould/Submitted photo)
Kelly Lynn Whitney acclaimed in By Election

Village of Port Clements By Election success

Stikine provincial election candidates (clockwise from top left): Nathan Cullen, NDP; Darcy Repen, Rural BC Party; Rod Taylor, Christian Heritage; and Gordon Sebastian, BC Liberals.
‘Where is Annita McPhee?’: Cullen under fire from opening salvo of all-candidates forum

Four Stikine candidates spar during online debate from Prestige Hudson Bay Lodge in Smithers

A passer-by walks past a COVID-19 testing clinic in Montreal, Friday, Oct. 16, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ryan Remiorz
Canada ‘yet to see’ deaths due to recent COVID surge as cases hit 200,000

Much of the increase in case numbers can be attributed to Ontario and Quebec

Police confirm human remains were found in a recycling bin in Vancouver on Oct. 18, 2020. (Black Press Media file photo)
Human remains found in recycling bin floating near Vancouver beach

Police asking nearby residents to see if their recycling bin has gone missing

The BC Ferries vessel the Queen of Oak Bay. (News Bulletin file photo)
‘Buy a boat,’ Horgan advises anti-maskers on BC Ferries

NDP leader John Horgan talks COVID-19 misinformation

B.C. Liberal leader Andrew Wilkinson visits a North Vancouver daycare to announce his party’s election promises for child care, Oct. 9, 2020. (B.C. Liberal Party video)
B.C. parties pitch costly child care programs in pandemic

B.C. Liberals say they’ll deliver on NDP’s $10-a-day promise for lower-income families

A B.C. man decided to create a website to help people find family doctors accepting patients. Because Victoria is considered high-demand, clinic openings can’t be posted publicly. (Unsplash)
Vancouver Island man starts website that connects B.C. residents with doctors

Nanaimo man started project to help people find family physicians accepting patients

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

Voting station at Tzeachten Hall in the riding of Chilliwack-Kent on the first day of advance voting in the provincial election on Oct. 15, 2020. (Paul Henderson/ Chilliwack Progress)
B.C. VOTES 2020: 380,000 British Columbians head to polls in first 4 days of advance voting

Some of highest voter turnout so far has been seen on Vancouver Island and in Shuswap

Grant and Barbara Howse, in quarantine in Invermere. Mike Turner photo
Denied entry into U.S., Kootenay couple still forced to quarantine for 2 weeks

The rules around crossing the U.S. border led to a bizarre situation for an Invermere couple

Most Read