LETTER: Sign story didn’t report all the facts, says mayoral candidate

by Tim Edwards - October 12, 2018

From: Jerald Sibbeston, mayoral candidate for the City of Yellowknife

Dear editor,

Where did the other candidates get their signs? I am proud I bought everything locally. There is a video on my Facebook page about me building them myself.

One sign was strewn across Twin Pine Hill on Saturday, Sept. 29. I went in to NNSL after repairing it that same day to report the destruction.

I also reported a phone call from MED I had received that same Saturday morning. I was pretty upset about the damage to my sign.

The facts cannot be selected to suit the newspaper. Not reporting the vandalism of my signs was unfair, as I had shown NNSL pictures and video at that time (“Candidate alleges unfair treatment,” Yellowknifer, Oct. 3).

I was also upset at the time that the city clerk had ordered her husband, the head of MED to remove or destroy my signs WITHIN 24 hours of notifying me. Two of my signs were taken down by someone in that timeframe.

To commit a conflict of interest of this type during an election campaign against ANY candidate is wrong and SHOULD shock anyone’s sensibilities.

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I have not received any formal letter from city explaining that there was even a complaint. I am unsure if this was an official action of removal. There has not even been an email about anything from city.

On Sunday, Sept. 30 in the Shell Range Lake area my other high visibility sign was smashed in. All of the above is fact.

It is unclear if MED were following an order to do so from the city clerk based on the sign bylaws I was unknowingly violating and failed to inform me.

As for the height of the signs, contrary to your editorial, a rational person would say that there was no threat to public safety, and sign bylaws are designed to have signs away from public foot traffic and not have the signs messed with; see city bylaw 4968. In the end, if you were near my sign and it hit you, I think you need to quit hitting my sign (“Sign debacle not the Alamo,” Yellowknifer, Oct. 5).

I am not a salesman, communicator, or carpenter. The fire of politics is lit in my heart as I can no longer watch while being silent as obvious disregard for transparency exists at City Hall. Whoever you vote for, please vote on Monday, Oct. 15.

EDITOR’S NOTE:

Yellowknifer asked the city to comment about allegations raised in Jerald Sibbeston’s letter. This is the response we received from Kerry Penney, the city’s director of communications:

“A complaint was brought forward from a member of the public regarding the election sign. It was received by the deputy city clerk on the evening of Sept. 28 and forwarded to Municipal Enforcement. A supervisory constable was assigned to address the complaint. The supervisory constable contacted Mr. Sibbeston and advised him that his sign did not conform to the requirements of the Election Sign By-law No. 4968 and he was given 24 hours to address this (section 21 of the Election Sign By-law).

Other complaints, in addition to this one, regarding election signs have been received by the city and dealt with in accordance with the Election Sign By-law.

All the information regarding the election, including campaign rules can be found here: https://www.yellowknife.ca/en/city-government/Elections.asp”

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