Mayor receives dead rats

Summerland Mayor Peter Waterman had dead rats deposited on his doorstep on two occasions this summer.

Waterman said the incident occurred on Aug. 15, but is just speaking publicly about it now as council becomes increasingly targeted by recent bad behaviour.

The first rat was found stuffed into a cracker box in his driveway at his home, which was reported to RCMP.

The next day as he arrived home to meet with police about the situation, someone had placed another dead rat in the same spot.

“Pretty brazen, right out in the middle of daylight,” he said. “Little weird.”

Summerland has had a polarizing year, with the controversial Banks Crescent development and now-dead compost facility proposal. Recent council meetings have been rowdy affairs, often standing-room only.

“It’s been getting more aggressive, we've seen fairly strong emails come through, and a lot of intimidation and comments in council chambers,” he said.

He said graffiti has also surfaced recently, targeting him personally.

The last council meeting — which saw Waterman bring forward the compost plant for reconsideration — was the Mayor's breaking point.

“I wasn’t going to say much, because it's (the rats) pretty extreme, but… I felt it was time to not be an enabler and call it out.”

“Because when you don’t call these episodes out, you tend to be an enabler of those activities. You sort of say, ‘It’s OK, it doesn’t bother me, let’s carry on,’” he added. “It’s not OK.”

Waterman pointed out that it's a “very small” number of people that take things too far.

“People get worked up, and there is strong rhetoric, and there is fringe elements that get involved and take advantage of the situation.”

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