Smear campaign backfires
Whitbourne mayor survives rough ride
Lloyd Gosse was returned as mayor of Whitbourne last week after what turned out to be a bit of a rough campaign.
“It got a little dirty, some people tried to turn it into a bit of a smear campaign, Gosse admits, but I didn’t stray the course. I ran a clean campaign and the people came through with the vote and that’s all that matters. I’m honoured and humbled by their support. Any smear campaign is now a thing of the past.”
While the mayor may have put any dirty politics during the campaign aside, some residents of Whitbourne are still stinging from it. Last Thursday a resident sent
The Compass a copy of a flyer he found in his mailbox prior to the election. Addressed to the citizens of Whitbourne, the writer who did not sign his/her name, referred to himself or herself as someone who “attended several council meetings over the past few years and watched the current mayor in action.
“I’ve asked questions and listened, I feel it’s time to tell it like it is,” said the anonymous writer.
In the flyer Gosse was named numerous times and several accusations were levelled against him, the strongest being: “Lloyd Gosse shows no respect for his councillors especially women, and those who dare to oppose or question him.”
The anonymous author went on to state: “His focus is on get- ting large developments pushed through without allowing input from us, the ordinary resident. We need a mayor who will look after our interests, not the best interests of the developer.”
In another statement the writer says, “Gosse has no concern for water quality as he is not serviced by our inadequate water system.”
The flyer ends with: “Let’s not build a town where a bird has to bring his own stick to perch on; let’s stop this one man show. On Sept. 29 vote for change.”
While the flyer was obviously intended to discredit Gosse, it may have had the opposite effect.
“It made me go out and vote and I hadn’t done that in years,” said one resident. “Dirty politics, that’s what it was, mean spirited and a bit much, especially during a municipal election. I mean you wouldn’t hear tell of the likes of that going on during a provincial or federal election. It isn’t as if the mayor or councillors were running for a position that paid a lot of money, you are talking about a town council for goodness sake not some high paying position.”
Another resident echoed the same sentiments.
“How childish can people be?” he says. “Fortunately there’s only a small group of people who would stoop to those kinds of tactics here in our town. And myself and a good many more are glad it backfired on them.”
When asked about the letter, mayor Gosse declined comment, preferring to make light of the situation.
“I never dreamed the election would grant me so much attention,” he chuckled. “In fact I haven’t had that much attention since my wedding night.”
On the day after being reelected mayor, Gosse says he was still on cloud nine.
“It feels good, I believe the system works, it’s okay,” he says.
Gosse came away from the Sept. 29 municipal election with 233 votes, more than the combined total for his two rivals. William P. Barron received 169 votes and Dr. Hilary Rodriques, 60.
“It means a lot knowing the town was behind me,” says Gosse.
Meanwhile newcomer Terry Gilliam topped the polls among the council candidates with 247 votes. Three other new faces will also sit around the council chambers for the next term. Newcomer Hilda Whelan received 222 votes, Terry Rose, 202 and Roger Morgan, 201. Incumbent councillors, Wayne Mercer with 222 votes and Thomas Howe, 202, were successful in their bids for re-election, however incumbents Marilyn Green with 197 votes and Rodney Bradbury, 180, were defeated. Newcomers Leslie Lynch, 194, Wayne Parsons, 183; Maxwell Reid, 126; Douglas Corcoran, 79; Thomas Hickey, 68 and Arthur Jones, 50, were also defeated.
Some 470 of the town’s 702 eligible voters marked their Xs last week.
Mayor Goose says he is looking forward to the next four years.