Smear cam­paign back­fires

Whit­bourne mayor sur­vives rough ride

The Compass - - NEWS - DENISE PIKE

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.”

Back­fired

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.

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