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.

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.

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

Victoria Hospice staff Brianne Ohl, left, Angela Chalmers, right, and Sandi Ogloff, at back, show off their buttons that show a picture of them smiling. Staff has worked hard to maintain the connections with patients despite the barriers of PPE and rigid COVID-19 protocols. (Victoria Hospice Photo)
Hospice provides compassion in a time of COVID

Victoria Hospice 40th anniversary on pause during pandemic

Look for the Random Act of Kindness Day colouring contest in Black Press issues Jan. 17. Physical entries can be mailed or dropped off to local Black Press offices. A scanned or photographed entry can be emailed to info@victoriafoundation.bc.ca. Winning entries can get a $50 gift card to Bolen Books and a $100 donation to a charity of their choice from the VIctoria Foundation. (Pixabay)
Colouring contest coming for Kindness Day

Kindness Day colouring contest in partnership with Victoria Foundation

Sidney has moved the remaining parts of its public consultation phase part of the Official Community Plan online. (Black Press Media File)
Sidney moves to an ‘all online engagement’ process for OCP

Staff says OCP charrette scheduled for mid-February

(File photo)
‘Very lucky’: Two passengers, dog escape rollover crash in Saanich unscathed

Vehicle flips on Trans Canada Highway after hitting median, possibly due to ice, firefighter says

The large metal gate stolen from Muddy Valley Farm in rural Saanich on Jan. 18 reappeared less than a week later. (Muddy Valley Farm/Facebook)
Large metal gate stolen from Saanich farm makes mysterious reappearance

12-foot gate returned to Muddy Valley Farm less than a week after it was stolen

U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders sits in on a COVID-19 briefing with Dr. Bonnie Henry, provincial health officer, and Adrian Dix, B.C. minister of health. (Birinder Narang/Twitter)
PHOTOS: Bernie Sanders visits B.C. landmarks through the magic of photo editing

Residents jump on viral trend of photoshopping U.S. senator into images

Nanaimo Regional General Hospital. (News Bulletin file photo)
COVID-19 outbreak declared at Nanaimo hospital

Two staff members and one patient have tested positive, all on the same floor

A long-term care worker receives the Pfizer vaccine at a clinic in Nanaimo earlier this month. (Island Health photo)
All Island seniors in long-term care will be vaccinated by the end of this weekend

Immunization of high-risk population will continue over the next two months

A 75-year-old aircraft has been languishing in a parking lot on the campus of the University of the Fraser Valley, but will soon be moved to the B.C. Aviation Museum. (Paul Henderson/ Chilliwack Progress)
Vintage military aircraft moving from Chilliwack to new home at B.C. Aviation Museum

The challenging move to Vancouver Island will be documented by Discovery Channel film crews

A video posted to social media by Chilliwack resident Rob Iezzi shows a teenager getting kicked in the face after being approached by three suspects on Friday, Jan. 22, 2021. (YouTube/Rob i)
VIDEO: Security cameras capture ‘just one more assault’ near B.C. high school

Third high-school related assault captured by Chilliwack resident’s cameras since beginning of 2021

FILE - In this Feb. 14, 2017, file photo, Oklahoma State Rep. Justin Humphrey prepares to speak at the State Capitol in Oklahoma City. A mythical, ape-like creature that has captured the imagination of adventurers for decades has now become the target of Rep. Justin Humphrey. Humphrey, a Republican House member has introduced a bill that would create a Bigfoot hunting season, He says issuing a state hunting license and tag could help boost tourism. (Steve Gooch/The Oklahoman via AP, File)
Oklahoma lawmaker proposes ‘Bigfoot’ hunting season

A Republican House member has introduced a bill that would create a Bigfoot hunting season

Economic Development and Official Languages Minister Melanie Joly responds to a question in the House of Commons Monday November 23, 2020 in Ottawa. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Federal minister touts need for new B.C. economic development agency

Last December’s federal economic update promised a stimulus package of about $100 billion this year

FILE - In this Nov. 20, 2017, file photo, Larry King attends the 45th International Emmy Awards at the New York Hilton, in New York. Former CNN talk show host King has been hospitalized with COVID-19 for more than a week, the news channel reported Saturday, Jan. 2, 2021. CNN reported the 87-year-old King contracted the coronavirus and was undergoing treatment at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles. (Photo by Andy Kropa/Invision/AP, File)
Larry King, broadcasting giant for half-century, dies at 87

King conducted an estimated 50,000 on-air interviews

Comox Valley RCMP are looking for witnesses after the theft of a generator worth thousands of dollars. Photo supplied
RCMP asking Vancouver Island residents to watch for stolen generator

Vehicle may have been travelling on Highway 19

Most Read