Then in 2010, at one of the polling stations in Ward 2 at a seniors' residence, a box of ballots fell open and was accidentally mixed in with votes that had already been counted. A volunteer explained the mix-up as a mistake and the man in charge, Russ Wilson explained that the tape holding the box closed was "old" and caused to box to open. This caused an uproar in the mayoral election as the healthy lead that candidate Ann Marie Noyes held going into the counting of the ballots from Wards 1 and 2, evaporated very quickly and the incumbent mayor Doug Martin ended up winning by a mere five votes. Many believe that the mistake may have contributed to the turnaround, but the matter was quickly shoved aside.
This was the reason that Ward 5 Councillor Don Lubberts asked the town clerk if it was possible for a candidate's scrutineer be allowed to travel with the ballots from seniors' residence to seniors' residence as an additional safety measure. The acting town clerk agreed that this could be done. Then the mayor-by-five-votes and his heir apparent got into the act and protested this possibility as "ridiculous." The mayor-by-five-votes went on give as an example, "I don't trust Don Lubberts or his scrutineers..." before he was interrupted with a point of order by Don Lubberts who protested that Martin was insulting him. Martin said that if he could continue, he was trying to make a point and tried again. Interrupted again. Finally, chair John Hill took control and asked Martin to use a generic term like "Councillor A" but Martin went on the same path until another interruption and then reluctantly changed his example to "Councillor A." All that to make the point that he was against the notion of scrutineers riding along with the ballots. Although there have been remedies put into place to prevent another incident like the one in 2010, there is a level of distrust of the protection of the ballots in light of events around other past elections.
Stay tuned, this will come up next week as a motion in council. It would only effect Wards 1 and 2 where there are seniors' residences that have on site voting.
In another story: In 2010, people who lived in the Ridgeway-by-the-Lake development (not a gated community) invited candidates to a resident's home to meet and answer questions from the people who lived in the development. It was an informative and orderly exchange. This year Ward 5 candidates have been invited to meet and answer questions at the Algonquin Clubhouse, the community centre in the development. Some who do not live in the ward or the development wanted to attend the event but were told that due to space restraints, the event was only open to residents of the development. Now, the Dark Side has decided it will be an ambush and two candidates have declined to appear at the meet and greet. Perhaps they are afraid that they will be booed and heckled like the incumbents were subjected to at the Chamber of Commerce Candidates Night a week ago in Stevensville. Not going to happen. The people of Ridgeway-by-the-Lake are adults who just want to have a chance to ask questions of the persons who want to represent them for the next four years.
ANOTHER SLANDER BLOGGER? Of course, I have been given that title since I was sued successfully with over $20,000. in taxpayer money by Jim Thibert. By now, most know that Greg Bonito, who hides behind the avatar "Sensei Ron" (He's neither a sensei or a Ron) has been served court papers for Libel by a lawyer representing John Hill and Don Lubberts. This was for remarks made on that blog that were perceived to be slanderous. Instead of following a cease and desist order, the blog has decided that the councillors should have defended themselves on the same blog that trashes them consistently. The irony of the ninjas' situation is quite amusing since they were all in favour of shutting me up when I was sued. Now they are whining about an attack on their freedom of speech. Bwah!