DEMOCRACY UNDER ATTACK
IN FORT ERIE?
Bob Steckley, Ward 3;
John Hill, Ward 4;
Don Lubberts, Ward 5;
Paul Collard, Ward 6
were democratically elected to represent the taxpayers.
For the past four years, they have been standing up for the people
of Fort Erie despite a well-planned attack on their integrity.
- Previous council approved the twelve story condo on public beach lands which did not contain safeguards to protect the taxpayers from an escalating burden should the project be delayed. The property did not have an absolute title when it was purchased from the Rebstock Family in 2001. The developer was apparently able to dictate the conditions of the MOU to the town solicitor, Heather Salter.
- Bob Steckley, John Hill, Don Lubberts and Paul Collard were not in favour of a high rise on public beachfront land. They were elected by large margins..
- A local blogger (me) was sued by Jim Thibert and the EDTC using over $20,000. of taxpayer money.
- Compliance Audits, costing the town in excess of $100,000. uncovered minimal mistakes. Marina Butler requested a complaince audit on John Hill. Martha Lockwood, who lost to Don Lubberts, requested an audit on his campaign; Larry Graber requested an audit of Paul Collard's campaign. The audit against Bob Steckley was dismissed.
- Two large billboards were placed on Garrison Road that called the Four Councillors "liars." attributed to the "Citizens For a Better Fort Erie" whose spokesperson, Kim Zanko, is a candidate for Ward 3.
- A group calling itself "Citizens of Fort Erie for a Positive Future" distributed a full colour flyer that attempted to paint The Four as deceitful and corrupt. Again, Kim Zanko took ownership of the flyer.
- Town solicitor was dismissed. She then released confidential information in violation of the non-disclosure clause of her settlement accusing The Four of harassment.
- Against advice of legal counsel, the mayor tried to get confidential settlement information released without a court order. Request defeated.
- Mayor tells The Four councillors that he will never support another thing they bring forward.
- Conflict of Interest lawsuit filed against The Four Councillors by former, defeated town councillor Tim Whitfield who admitted under oath that he has been approached by the mayor as well as the GM of the EDTC to provide an affidavit for an action against The Four. Lawsuit paperwork leaked to press from town hall under code name "Project 4-2-0"
- Mayor Doug Martin admitted under oath that there was no harassment of the town solicitor. He had provided Whitfield with documents from closed sessions regarding the settlement.
- The lawsuit has been delayed by Whitfield to prevent the resolution of the case before the municipal elections. To date each councillor has spent $40,000. of his own money to defend himself.
- The Bay Beach developer requested an open-ended extension for the project as the necessary 45 units had not been sold by the self-imposed date of December 31, 2013. Council had been advised by legal counsel that it was under no obligation to extend the time.
- Council offered an eight month extension but that was defeated by votes from Martin, Shular, Passero, Hill, Lubberts and Collard. The author of the offer, Bob Steckley, was the only councillor to vote in the affirmative.
- No other motion was offered by either Martin, Shular or Passero to extend the time for the Molinaros.
- The Bay Beach developer chose to end the project on December 31, 2013, however he still retains right of first refusal for further development on the property. This could leave the door open for him to come back to the project if a new council invited him.
- EDTC General Manager Jim Thibert filed a Conflict of Interest lawsuit against Councillor Don Lubberts over a piece of property belonging to the Fort Erie Race Track. He has yet to state publically how the lawsuit is funded. He seems to expect that the taxpayers will pay for it as they did for his action against the blogger.
- Documents demanded by the court in the Conflict of Interest case against The Four revealed that the lawsuit was funded by the following:
- Jim and Bill Miller, owner of two companies and part ownership in the Bridgewater Country Club (Donated to Martin's 2010 campaign)
- Artaj Singh, landlord for the Chamber of Commerce and the EDTC (Donated to Martin's campaign)
- Howard and Valerie Beattie, 2010 scruntineers for Doug Martin
- Kirk Zavitz - owner of Zavcor Trucking (Donated to Martin's campaign)
- Marina Butler, owner of Employment Professionals Canada, now a candidate in Ward 4
- Just eleven days before the municipal elections, the Bay Beach developer filed a $10 million action against the Town of Fort Erie and The Four Councillors ten months after he backed out of the deal. Again, paperwork is leaked before two of the councillors had been served.
- Contrary to the "4-3 vote," less than 1% of all council decisions were by a 4-3 vote.
The Four have been subjected to a continuous assault in order to force them from office. They have remained professional and diligent in their efforts to represent the people of Fort Erie to the best of their ability. They won their elections fairly; they have been subjected to unfairness since they were elected. It is time to stand up for those who stood up for us.
We support The Four:
1. Bob Steckley ... Regional Council
2. John Hill ... Ward 4
3. Don Lubberts ... Ward 5
4. Paul Collard ... Ward 6
Democracy is at stake in this election.
Vote with pride for those who stood up for