“Oh, what a tangled web we weave, when first we practise to deceive.” – Sir Walter Scott

And what a tangled web has been woven during this 2014 Abbotsford municipal election. Secret, sneaky attacks on Henry Braun; secret, sneaky attacks on Bruce Banman; all from the murky shadows of ‘anonymous’ websites and tweeters. Cowards all of you.

Oh, but wait a minute. What happens if you speak out, not shooting from dark places, but openly presenting facts, even documented facts about people who want to get enough votes on Saturday to gain access to the coveted seats of power?

Well, I can tell you what happens even if you merely ask questions, the wrong questions evidently. You get threats of lawsuits, and in my case very tangible threatening emails from Vince Dimanno’s lawyer.

But my questions had to be asked, and they must be answered by Vince Dimanno and Fred Thiessen and Marty Snider and the 18 Advisors to the SLATE of Dimanno, Siemens, Falk, Chahal and Blue before they should be entrusted with a quarter of a billion of our tax dollars.

Vince Dimanno’s ONLY claim to fame is his vaunted role as President of the Abbotsford Ratepayers Association. That boast has been exposed with ample documentation, and the testimony of founding members of the ARA. If the key man of AbbotsfordFirst has his central boast blown out of the water, what remains of this team? Dimanno’s much-ballyhooed ARA descended into chaos and effectively died in 2009. Of massive concern is the lack of financial accountability he displayed. Yet that ARA is his present-day boast and his key piece of advertising as to why our city should trust him to be a boss over the significant issues brought to city council. If his presidency of the moribund ARA is all we have, this man is of all the candidates most unworthy of our trust.

What about all those other nasty stories and rumours swirling around under the ubiquitous and cowardly title ‘ANONYMOUS’? How very easy it is to attack people from the safety of dark alleys and shadows. Certainly the shadows offer protection, like maybe I would not face the prospect of months of unpleasant and perhaps severe financial cost, if I had used the cloak of ‘anonymous’. But I’ve never done that in my entire life, and I am not about to begin being that kind of a coward at my three-score and ten mark.

Have the courage of your convictions, Abbotsford. It might cost you a bit, but the freedom to speak the truth more than compensates for any backlash you might face.

— Gerda Peachey