The folks running the town of Enderby must have breathed a sigh of relief after I took down part of my blog yesterday, in which I reported that the town was taking down posters promoting a local walk for missing and murdered women.
Some of the organizers of the walk had accused the local mayor, and town, of taking down the posters because they were afraid that they were bad for tourism -- that they were a buzzkill. One organizer even said she was hung up on by the mayor.
I suggested the story reminded me of the plot of Jaws.
Don't tell anybody there's a shark on the loose. And we all know what happened.
I took down my post because I received a note from the town's Chief Admin Officer, who said he took a drive around town and noted that all the posters were still up including those which had been placed on city infrastructure spots including kiosks, light standards and more.
"They have not been removed since they were posted yesterday," he noted.
He also defended the mayor who had been rumored to be behind the ripping down of posters on city property, and he explained that only one poster was removed in a window at city hall, and that poster had been taken down by a city staffer.
"This window needs to be kept clear, so use of this particular space is restricted."
As a blogger, it's pretty difficult to report what is going on 3,000 miles away. I want to be fair, so I decided to get more information. I asked those who attended the walk.
Boy, did I get an earful from people who were there.
As it turns out, the story is not about posters at all.
The story is about a mayor who said he was "too busy" to show up, and lend his support for the walk to support the families of three women who went missing last year from the same areas.
The photos of Ashley Simpson, Deanna Wertz and Caitlin Potts are posted above. All of these women disappeared last year from Enderby and nearby Salmon Arm.
I know it's the long weekend and all. But part of the job of the mayor is to show up at things like this. Important things.
Two, it doesn't look good that he sent his Chief Admin Offer after me to set the record straight.
What the mayor did -- I forget his name and so should you -- was sloppy and insensitive.
This doesn't make him a bad person. But it does make him a lousy politician.
He might be starting to care because people are really pissed.
"Maybe the families should have offered to pay for his time, as he obviously has more pressing things going on," wrote Cathy McLeod, after I posted my blog.
Meagan Louis expressed her disbelief in the town's side of things.
"I wish I had recorded the mayor when he called (organizer) Jody Leon!. His words were not so nice then -- he was very angry, accusatory. He said he was too busy to attend our walk. The Mayor of Armstrong attended the walk along with chiefs and dignitaries from surrounding communities.
"Way to cover his ass up!"
Nichole Fleming believes the mayor's indifference to the walk is just one more dagger in the collective heart of the families of the missing. "The important fact is Enderby is not stepping up to the plate. These women have been swept under a rug and just forgotten. It's absolutely disgusting."
Melisa Lynn Roudebush suggested the organizers change the posters, just to get the mayor's attention.
"Stay safe," they should read. "Stay off the back roads, and for the love of God, don't travel anywhere alone. Welcome to Salmon Arm!"
You see, Mr. Mayor, or should I call you Mayor Snowflake? It's not about ripped posters, it's about your feckless disregard for your constituents. It's about your clear inability to read the climate of your town. People are afraid. Women feel devalued. Families feel their women are forgotten.
I also received this chilling comment from a woman with the moniker Gayle Andrea Astrologer.
"I lived in that town for sixteen years. Lotta strange things go on in the backwoods. Thrives on secrecy. And women are held in low regard for the most part. Especially, women who 'run off''."
The real point is this.
On a day when strangers, family and friends all take the time to lace up to raise awareness about a growing epidemic in crimes against women, we shouldn't be talking about bad politicians. They can, and should, be thrown out of office.
Instead, we should be saluting those politicians who do show up, like the mayor of Salmon Arm who walked the whole route in solidarity.
As Elaine noted: "She participated in the blessings and prayers for those that are missing, and she was touched by the tragedy of it all. That is what the mayor of a community should do, without question."
So here's to Nancy Cooper for giving a hoot.
Thanks, Nancy Cooper, for lending your support.
Maybe you should have a talk with that mayor over in Enderby.
You could give Mayor Snowflake a few pointers.
For the complete story, please visit Global News.