Luck of the draw

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Barb Sweet
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Wiseman's name drawn for mayor of Paradise in tiebreaker

In a jawdropping development Thursday, Mayor Ralph Wiseman regained power in Paradise when his name was drawn to break a tie.

"Today I am the mayor and unless I'm told otherwise I am going to carry on as the mayor and fulfil the obligations that I made to the people of Paradise," said Wiseman, who arrived after a 5 1/2-hour recount produced the stunning result.

Ralph Wiseman (left) and Kurtis Coombs speak to the media after a tense mayoral recount in Paradise Thursday. The recount resulted in a tie and then Wiseman was chosen the winner through a tie-breaker draw. - Photos by Steve Bartlett/The Telegram

In a jawdropping development Thursday, Mayor Ralph Wiseman regained power in Paradise when his name was drawn to break a tie.

"Today I am the mayor and unless I'm told otherwise I am going to carry on as the mayor and fulfil the obligations that I made to the people of Paradise," said Wiseman, who arrived after a 5 1/2-hour recount produced the stunning result.

Nineteen-year-old Kurtis Coombs had originally been declared the winner of the election Tuesday night by just three votes and spent a day and a half as a media darling due to his youthful win in a town where many residents are angered at the frantic pace of development and lack of greenspace.

For hours Thursday, Coombs and his mom, Rhonda Chancey, waited nervously in the parking lot of the Paradise town hall.

They chatted about planning a motorcade for Saturday to celebrate if Coombs was confirmed mayor.

And then his agent, Rick Fifield, emerged from the town hall and huddled with the duo to deliver the news before speaking to reporters.

Fifield said the tie resulted from the recount requested by Wiseman.

"The returning officer is required to take the names and fold them on identical pieces of paper and put them in a package that's sealed," said Fifield, who along with Wiseman's agent, Chris Power, observed the procedure.

"She picks the name out and the name who comes out is the mayor and Ralph Wiseman's name came out."

Coombs can hire a lawyer and seek a judicial recount, which he indicated he will do.

Fifield said he objected to one of the ballots that was turned over to Wiseman's favour during the recount.

If the matter goes to a judicial recount, that ballot could potentially shift the pendulum of power once again.

"I'm going to fight it to the end. I mean drawing a name from a hat? At the end of the day. ... I always thought it was supposed to be the people that spoke," Coombs said.

"I convey my congratulations to Mr. Wiseman, although this will be taken further. I gave this man one good run for his money. And if nothing else I hope I've motivated him to make sure he represents the people of Paradise. The people have spoke in this election and they have conveyed a very strong message. You have not seen the last of me."

Power told the media what had happened was "democracy at its finest."

"I'm actually ecstatic. I congratulate Kurtis on a fantastic race. His career is just young, but I'm very, very, very happy as a resident of Paradise that we have our mayor that's done the work for us," Power said before climbing into a Cadillac SUV parked in a spot labelled "Mayor Wiseman" etched in white paint on the pavement.

A short time later, Power returned with Wiseman, who had declined media interviews since Tuesday's election.

On Tuesday night, Wiseman told The Telegram "the individual that ran against me ran a very negative campaign."

But Thursday, with news he was once again mayor, Wiseman was more generous.

"I want to say congratulations to Kurtis Combs. He ran a fabulous campaign, a very interesting campaign. I know he's got a great future. But in this political process there is a process to be followed and it was followed," Wiseman said.

"I'm satisfied that's the process."

Wiseman, a onetime Liberal cabinet minister, said he was going to proceed with his five-year plan for the town

"It's a realistic mandate that I believe at least the voters who voted for me understood," Wiseman said.

When asked how people who had voted against him would react to the tie breaker, he replied, "If I don't do this, the people who got out in support of me are going to be very resentful."

He then went into the town hall to re-occupy his office.

Coombs said he shook hands with Wiseman inside the building, but he reiterated his determination to pursue the matter.

"Relying on pure chance is not the current way in which to determine the mayor of a municipality," Coombs said.

According to a spokeswoman for the Department of Municipal Affairs, the process for deciding an election in a tie breaker is indeed to draw a name.

The procedure under the Municipal Elections Act was used to decide a councillor in Terrenceville in this election and has been used in the past.

Ties are broken in some original ways in North America.

In New Mexico, over the course of a decade, games of chance were used three times to decide a tie in municipal elections, the latest a poker game in 2008, according to the website PokerPages.

According to a June New York Times story, a judge in Cave Creek, Ariz., decided a deadlock by cutting a deck of cards.

bsweet@thetelegram.com




HOW TO BREAK A TIE

Rules for a tied vote from the Municipal Elections Act
Where, upon the counting of the votes, two or more candidates have an equal number of votes and both or all of those candidates cannot be elected, the returning officer shall immediately
(a) write the names of those candidates on separate, identical
blank sheets of paper;
(b) fold the sheets of paper in an identical manner so that
the names are concealed;
(c) deposit them in a receptacle and withdraw the number of
the sheets necessary to elect the candidates required to be elected; and
(d) declare the candidate whose name appears on the sheet withdrawn, to be elected.
Source: Municipal Elections Act

Organizations: Department of Municipal Affairs, New York Times

Geographic location: Paradise, Terrenceville, North America New Mexico Cave Creek

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Comments

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Recent comments

  • albert
    July 02, 2010 - 13:35

    I guess it is now mayor THE MAD HATTER. Still doesn't fix the mess called Karwood Drive or Topsail Road.
    Straighten it out HATTER before a child gets killed.

  • Yesman3000
    July 02, 2010 - 13:35

    First of all, the draw of a name from a hat is a PROVINCIAL LAW under the Municipalities Act. A couple of yahoos in the room didn't decide to do this. So this could have happened anywhere in NL. It's not specific to Paradise.

    Secondly, a re-vote would be great but it should only be limited to those who voted in the first place. I'm sure there would be no tie this time. I've heard people say if only I had voted on election day. Well, you had your chance whichever way you decided to vote. To open this up to everybody now would be making a greater mockery of the voting system.

  • Mike
    July 02, 2010 - 13:34

    This whole thing floors me, but my favorite part of the entire scenario is that the official process for pick a name from a hat requires specific, 4-step directions.

    How will Paradise choose their Deputy Mayor? Have all the councillors sit in a circle and have the raffle-winner they call their mayor spin a bottle?

  • Nasty
    July 02, 2010 - 13:34

    I bet little Kurtis Coombs knows the elections Act this morning word for word. Might have been a plan to know it prior to running in the first place. Trying to play catch up is not the way to run a community. And things like that come with education and experience, not with parental influence and manipulation.

    The residents and business owners of Paradise should be worried now about the negative publicity this event is casting on their community. Only 24% of you even bothered to cast a vote. Did the other 76% not want either in office, if so there is your majority.

    No mayor required.

  • s
    July 02, 2010 - 13:34

    I think this was a flawed process and i believe Kurtis Coombs is the mayor of paradise.wiseman and his croonies found some way to sneak him back in.Wiseman was useless as a politician and even more useless as a mayor.
    Paradise will never amount to anything with wiseman as mayor that has already been proven!!!

  • Unknown
    July 02, 2010 - 13:33

    Disgusting,pathetic,unreal..etc

    To think that I wasted my time voting when all they had to do was put the names in a recycle bin and decide who gets it.
    Paradise has lost their Steve Kent and it makes me sick to think of another 4 years of wasted money and nothing being done concerning issue's residents have. To think that a man who got into arguments with neighbours during his campaign is our Mayor....I think this was a pretty shady operation and a re-vote should be done not another recount.

  • Elizabeth
    July 02, 2010 - 13:33

    Wouldn't it make sense to have a third count? I mean really, if one was counting money and got two different amounts wouldn't one count it again to establish which was the correct amount? What makes this recount any more reliable than the initial count?

  • don
    July 02, 2010 - 13:32

    They both knew or should have known the rules before they entered. If the ballots turn out to be counted correctly than Mr Wiseman is the winner. Case closed. Do you think Mr(omg the injustice of it all) Coombs would be outraged if his name was picked.

  • I laff at
    July 02, 2010 - 13:31

    STOP THE RACKET from NL writes: Ralph Wiseman sounds just like Danny Williams. Power no matter what. The people of Paradise deserve another chance to send Wiseman packing where he belongs.

    They will have a second chance as required by the same law that everyone should have been very aware of well in advance of the draw.

    In FOUR YEARS. Giver another go and make sure you all vote this time. Guess you people really do have more money than brains if you are willing to keep this event costing you all more and more.

    What's the problem? None of your residents can count to begin with I guess. What will a third count prove, you still can not add? Ya that makes it all better.

  • Go Coombs!!
    July 02, 2010 - 13:31

    If Wiseman is so confident that the People of Paradise want him as their Mayor, then order a re-vote. Im sure there will be a different outcome and Coombs will be will on his way!!! Put it back in the hands of the people, let them decide!!!!

  • Dee
    July 02, 2010 - 13:30

    Ralph said he wanted to fulfill his obligations he made in his run for mayor , he never filled the ones he promised in his first election. ie not passing any streets with water and sewer when they were in that area they were going to do all the streets and not bypass and have to bring back the equipment. So I guess another sham on the people of Paradise. Time to give it up Ralph there's a wiser generation out there, empty fulfillments mean nothing. People are after catching on to the old politican garbage.

  • gerard
    July 02, 2010 - 13:30

    According to reports with the recount, there was one ballot for Coombs spoiled because part of the x was outside the box, should count in my opinion. Also there was another ballot had an x in Coombs box, but had scribbles through it, and the x was also in Wiseman's box with no scribble though it . This was a definite SPOILED BALLOT, but it was counted in Wiseman's favour. If this is actually true, than there is no question as to who really is and who will become mayor after a judical recount, and as for the man being only 19, i wish most of our politicians in office now had his maturity, and no, i don't live in the community.

  • A
    July 02, 2010 - 13:30

    When will the new Welcome To Loony Town sign go up with the new moto, my Mummy will beat you up if you make me cry one more time. Pretty bad seeing what could have been crying yesterday. What would he have done if any policy he wanted was voted down by council? Have his mudder come running to defend him again and again with her little dog too?

    What a joke. My cat wants to be Mayor of Paradise, where does she sign up?

    Lets get this out of the media NOW. No one will want to move to Paradise with a running joke like this going on. This has created more damage to the community than we even realize, business is a thing of the past now.

  • Jay
    July 02, 2010 - 13:29

    Alan you may be misunderstanding how the law works. Kurtis Coombs could certainly have withdrawn his name from such a draw, but then he would have withdrawn from the election. The law clearly spells out what is to be done, and the Paradise town staff followed it to the letter. is it silly? Oh yes. And also ridiculous. But it IS the law. You want it changed? Complain to the provincial government, and I am sure the voters in Terrenceville (where this also happened) will join you.

  • crackie
    July 02, 2010 - 13:28

    BTW for all the Citizens of St. John's- we are covered under the Municipal Elections Act as well, so this would be our fate in the unlikely (but not unheard of) event that any Council position results in a tie.

  • Mike
    July 02, 2010 - 13:27

    Mr. Wiseman, be a man and insit on another recount. Then if a tie is still the result motion for a re-election. The tie is only a result of a few spoiled ballots which although technically it is correct they should have been thrown out, did, point in the favour of Mr. Coombs. Some Other ballots though were spoiled, yet kept in Mr. Wisemans favour I have heard in other media.

    Be a man Mr Wiseman, Mr. Coombs is being one and he only has 1 year as a legal adult under his belt.

  • Don
    July 02, 2010 - 13:26

    If Wiseman had an ounce of integrity, he would INSIST on another vote by the citizens of Paradise to decide this issue. It seems pretty obvious that he isn't wanted when 50% of the voters would just as soon elect an un-tested teenager.

  • gerard
    July 02, 2010 - 13:26

    does it state that the rules for a tied vote in an election also apply to a tied vote in a recount, or do the original winner, keep his seat, could be a thought for the lawyers.

  • Nasty
    July 02, 2010 - 13:26

    Welcome To Paradise - Please Count Your Change THREE Times.

    Our Residents Can Not Count.

  • flexxa
    July 02, 2010 - 13:26

    even after all of this king ralph is unshaken with his arrogance. no media contact until he gets what he wants and not one indication of being humbled by the fact that half the people of paradise voted against him. just when we thought the decorum in chambers had a chance to return to something not reminiscent of andy's rule in st. john's we get this. by the way has a municipal election ever been decided in this way before? even so this practice seems ancient.

  • one word
    July 02, 2010 - 13:26

    one word sums up this fiasco


    PATHETIC



    Only in Newfoundland Labrador I guess

  • Dan
    July 02, 2010 - 13:24

    Re: D. Mockracy ;)

    I remember playing paper rock scissors as a kid, and we were never settled until we played best two out of three, it was the only fair way. I think the same could have been done with the name draw, but then this whole thing is just childish.

    ... maybe they two mayor candidates could have job-shared and then we'd see a new Paradise

  • GAR
    July 02, 2010 - 13:24

    During the election campaign, Ralph Wiseman criticized Kurtis Coombs for running a negative campaign. When he finally won the election, Wiseman said that Coombs ran a fabulous campaign. So what are you saying, Ralph, did Coombs run a fabulously negative campaign or a negatively fabulous campaign ? Two faced geezer.

  • Please
    July 02, 2010 - 13:24

    This is hilarious. This was the best procedure to settle a deadlock? This is nothing but a farce. In my honest humble opinion, why even bother to have an election? With the money that could have been saved they could buy a really nice box, had really fancy paper, and had the name draw on NTV. They also could have ALC put odds on proline and have the gamblers bet who they think would win??? COME ON PEOPLE... THINK BIG... We could make this into a bigger joke then it already is. I mean I saw this on the National last night and I am actually embarassed to say I am from NL, where we decide elections by DRAWING NAMES OUT OF A HAT... HOLY $#@!

  • Paula
    July 02, 2010 - 13:23

    I'm ashamed to say I didn't vote because I thought Kurtis Coombs was a sure win. I'd like to cast my vote now for Kurtis Coombs. That should break the tie!

  • DB
    July 02, 2010 - 13:22

    'democracy at its finest'? This Power fella hasn't got a clue. Wiseman was not elected mayor, he's being appointed, that's not democracy. It'll will speak volumes about Wiseman's character if he keeps this appointment. The ethical thing would be to call for another election between these two. I read elsewhere that the name was drawn from a garbage can, if true, it's appropriately symbolic.

  • Truth
    July 02, 2010 - 13:22

    They followed the law and Wiseman won. Now it will go to a judicial recount if Coombs will/can wage it. That's life.

    And when only 24% of eligible voters go out and vote, you get what you deserve.

  • Alan
    July 02, 2010 - 13:22

    while this is a terrible way to elect a moyor, it is the law and should be changed - but not now in the middle of a election rather for the next one. Coombs doesnt have a leg to stand on (IMHO), at the time he should have refused to participate in a draw and objected but he allowed it to proceed and when his name isnt the one drawn he cries foul. The big question is this....would Mr Coombs be kicking up the same argument (it isnt a proper democratic process etc...) if they pulled HIS name out of the hat? Do you think if it was HIS name drawn he would say, no I wont accept the mayor seat I believe we should have a judicial recount to find the real winner? I dont think so, if that is the case then he is a hypocrite.

  • The Joke
    July 02, 2010 - 13:21

    SO if they re-count & it's a tie again, do they draw the names again?

  • Rick
    July 02, 2010 - 13:21

    What i have been reading is quiet funny to be honest with you .This young man i believe is just a puppet and the real mayor if he is reinstated will be his mother ,when i saw her on tv the night of the election NTV were more interested in what she said than the young man it sounded like she was giving the acceptance speech. This Power character who the hell do he think he is saying a democracy at his finest ,what a joker.I believe that wiseman should man up and step aside if he has the balls to and let this youngmann give it a shot (with the help of his mother ) of course ,And finally i would like to say that the people of Paradise have no one to blame but themselves for this Old geezer to be still running their town maybe a few more people who dont vote and complain all the time about things should of stepped up then the old geezer would not be there today .

  • Ken
    July 02, 2010 - 13:20

    albert from NL Remember the mad hatter reminds us its never the towns fault it is always the citizens, dog owners sprinklers being on, contractors, the provincial government, tim hortons, the police but never the town they had nothing to do with it. God help us four more years of this.

  • crackie
    July 02, 2010 - 13:20

    Yes if the recount is a tie the names will be put in for a draw again - & if Mr. Wiseman doesn't get that one it's the end of the line.

  • t
    July 02, 2010 - 13:19

    I really can't believe this to be a good way of deciding a mayor........I mean, really, draw a name out of a hat????? Come on. They should have a 3rd count of the votes and see how the numbers turn out. 2 counts = 2 different results. The 3rd count will probably show yet another result.

  • A
    July 02, 2010 - 13:19

    This wannabe kid admitted he was not even aware of the elections act. I guess his mother needs to ensure us all that he will study hard and learn everything required to prior to stepping up again in four years. Face it, it was the Mother that wanted this position.

    Have another election with HER name on the ballot as well. And if the majority of registered voters fail to show up and vote this time, FINE them all under the same act to recover the wasted time and expenses this is creating.

  • Stan
    July 02, 2010 - 13:19

    should be based on knowledge. a win looses merit if it is totally based on luck and not on earning. they should have a game of trivial persuit or newfoundlandia to settle the score and decide the winner. at least some way to say the better man won.

  • Wait...
    July 02, 2010 - 13:19

    I can not believe that only 24% of the population even bothered to vote. Clearly neither won the majority, and this needs to be re-done with at least 51% of the residents voting to make it legit.

    And what is with this mother needing to lead her son around by the hand? If she wants the job maybe she needs to have her name on the ballot next time. You never see this with any other candidate. When was the last time anyone saw a winner or loser needing to be driven to the re-count by his or her Mummy?

  • Taxpayer Joe
    July 02, 2010 - 13:19

    Totally insane; to have a large town election come down to a draw out of a re-cycling container is unacceptable. Too many questions can be raised. We can save the cost of elections next time around by putting all cnadidates names in drums and hold a public draw, first ones out wins.
    On another note, can someone please find Councillor Lane in Mount Pearl and ask that he remove his signs; his are the only ones remaining. If he only used the vigor taking them down that he did putting them up he may still be Deputy Mayor, he takes everything for granted.

  • iambrink
    July 02, 2010 - 13:18

    If they are going to pick out of a hat after a tie then why didn't they just do that at first as it was tied before any one voted. 0-0 (luck of the draw decides mayor). This is crazy and numb all at the same time. Either count them again or have a re-vote.

  • Doug
    July 02, 2010 - 13:18

    The end result of all of this is that the residents of Paradise look like a bunch of country bumpkins. Less than half of the eligibile voters bothered to get off their butts and vote with the end result being that they choose a mayor by drawing names out of a hat... and these people claim to be in the fastest growing and most progressive town in eastern Canada?

  • T-Roy
    July 02, 2010 - 13:18

    Shameful. Their should be another vote instead of letting some old conservative who thinks he's entitled to it get it by a draw. A lot of problems in our towns is due to one person constantly being voted in because they are known or popular or a chjaracter and not because they can do the job. Channel-Port aux Basques is one such place still trying to move forward after one family ruled and got all the contract work for decades (while also cutting corners). Streets shouldn't be paved as often as they were but if you own a construction company and your momn is mayor, well...
    The current bunch is running it into the ground also. A cabal of best buddies who cover each others a**es.

  • crackie
    July 02, 2010 - 13:18

    Chris Power told VOCM Night Line with Bill Rowe, the guidelines laid out in the Municipal Elections Act are quite clear that in such circumstances, the names are to be written on pieces of paper and drawn out of a receptacle. He says we have to realize that the process is one that voters have put in place. Sorry, I must have been out of town when we voted on that. Elected politicians via the bureaucrats in Municipal Affairs put the process in place not the voters.

  • Give it
    July 02, 2010 - 13:18

    This is getting as bad as the Chicago Olympic loss in the first round. Obama had no business pushing for it, and was knocked out in the first round. Kurtis was/is a puppet and his mudder should not have been front and centre.

    The LAW wins.

  • Mer
    July 02, 2010 - 13:18

    Surely a run off vote is in order. This can't possibly be the right thing to do. As it stands now, nobody's vote counted!

  • Don
    July 02, 2010 - 13:17

    You're a bum Wiseman, always were and always will be. Now, on top of that, you're a two face bum. One day the Kid is great and when Wiseman loses the Kid is no good. Wiseman yo're such a phony.

  • Robert
    July 02, 2010 - 13:17

    Nast nate now we know why only 24% of the eligible voters voted. Its bad enough that politics today has such a negative tone with people and mostly for good reason, Ed Byrne and Wally Andersen for example, but to have the winner decided by sheet of paper out of a hat.... Scandalous! Not sure of the legal actions that could be involved but should they not count again to try and get 2 counts that at least equaled one of the first 2 counts. The whole town should have to revote again in the event of a tie. Not picked out of a hat. And we wonder why NL is always the butt of jokes. We do it to ourselves.

  • Frank
    July 02, 2010 - 13:16

    We cannot take away the determination of our youth in wanting to be future leaders of our hometown's. There is a very bad trend today in referring to our youth as being usless and unconcerned and wanting the easy way out.

    I have never met Mr. Wiseman, and cannot say if he has been a poor community leader or not. In politics the best are critized as not doing anything for their town and country. A good example of this is The Hon. Paul Martin who worked so hard to get rid of an embarrasing deficit of $45 billion and his boss Jean Chretein was serving his friends Sponsorship Steaks, well done well.after. You can go anywhere in Canada today and people will tell you, Martin should've stayed on as PM. So, the best gets hit hard sometimes by those who don,t weigh the goodness in others until they have stepped aside.

    I think Kurtis Coombs was young and very determined, and will do well in the next round of municipal elections. Unfortunately people are making some unfair remarks, but you cannot take away how this young man feels about others inside. You have those who have been very good supporters of Mr. Wiseman over the years and a change would mean someone might take the sugar out of their cup of tea if someone else takes over the reins.

    Let's not discourage our youth from becoming community leaders.

    Frank Blackwood

  • billy
    July 02, 2010 - 13:15

    Go home Ralph!!! The people spoke and rejected you. It's garbage like you that gives the politcal system a bad name.

  • Youngin'
    July 02, 2010 - 13:15

    Should be an automatic re-vote as far as I'm concerned!! You'll definitly see what the people of Paradise want then. Wiseman would be long gone

  • STOP THE RACKET
    July 02, 2010 - 13:14

    Ralph Wiseman sounds just like Danny Williams. Power no matter what. The people of Paradise deserve another chance to send Wiseman packing where he belongs. Hang in there Kurtis its not over yet. You will emerge from this a much wiser man then Wiseman ever was or could ever hope to be

  • E.
    July 02, 2010 - 13:13

    Power told the media what had happened was democracy at its finest.

    I'm ashamed to be a Newfie because of this clown and the bigger clown he represents.

  • Paradise
    July 02, 2010 - 13:12

    Look, it's always the WRONG people who run in politics! Anybody who has a grain of sense does not run unfortunately!

    To be honest... I wish I had not even bothered to vote because I wasn't torn up on both choices. Do you think this might be a reason why it was such a low turnaround.

  • N
    July 02, 2010 - 13:12

    People!
    Seriously?
    Get a grip on critisizing Kurtis' age, referring to him as a child, holding his mommy's hand. Does it mention anywhere who Wiseman was with? His family members? Anyone? No where. A clear bias in my opinion. I'm sick and tired of people taking the low route and focusing ONLY on Coomb's age. He's obviously more mature than some of the commentors here. This is deplorable. Focus on the real issues at hand. The only people that hold the blame here are the voters themselves. If you made some sort of effort to get out and vote, this whole mess wouldn't have happened in the first place, I assure you.

    Who's the real child here?
    Grow up.

  • Misty
    July 02, 2010 - 13:11

    When a politician, whether it be federal, provincial or municipal ...makes that great sacrifice to offer themselves up, you would think that if there is someone else there also making this great sacrifice ... that he/she would only be too delighted to step aside. Well, ain't sacrifice somethin' you do against your will. Yeah, the old two faced-geezer...... is willing to die for his community and don't interfer.
    We need another election.... come'on guys kick the old hasbeen out.
    Good luck Kurtis ;-)

  • -D. Mockracy
    July 02, 2010 - 13:11

    I said it in the comments section of yesterday's story and I'll say it again:

    Paper Rock Scissors is the only fair way.

    I mean, games of chance are obviously the only logical and fair way to vote in any high-ranking official in a democracy anyway. That's how we decide things in our house.

    If that fails, guess a number between 1 and 100...closest one rules the city!

  • Learn The
    July 02, 2010 - 13:11

    Misty M from NL writes: When a politician, whether it be federal, provincial or municipal ...makes that great sacrifice to offer themselves up, you would think that if there is someone else there also making this great sacrifice ... that he/she would only be too delighted to step aside. Well, ain't sacrifice somethin' you do against your will. Yeah, the old two faced-geezer...... is willing to die for his community and don't interfer.
    We need another election.... come'on guys kick the old hasbeen out.
    Good luck Kurtis ;-)

    You are joking right! You think that because one side lost you get a do over? Thats not how it works. The law is pretty clear on this. You do not like the laws of this province or country, you have the right to move to one that has laws you agree with. Otherwise suck it up sweets, life sucks.

  • NL
    July 02, 2010 - 13:11

    I wonder would Wiseman have been so understanding and accepting of the process if it had been Coomb's name that was drawn from the recycling basket?

  • Reno
    July 02, 2010 - 13:10

    Garbage pickup day approaches. Put Ralph to the curb before he starts to stink more that he already does. Per Ralph's political history he should be the one attending the political science classes. In this case the winner is the biggest loser.

  • Rick
    July 02, 2010 - 13:09

    As you can see Mr. Wiseman talks from both sides of his mouth. Negative campaign one day, great campaign the next. Liars cannot usually keep their story straight. As for Chris, he might be better off keeping his own affairs in order.

  • Jonny
    July 02, 2010 - 13:08

    EUTHANIZE ALL DOGS! VOTE WISEMAN!

  • Tim
    July 02, 2010 - 13:08

    I thought I only saw this circus like electoral outcome in South America. Do the right thing Wiseman - have a run-off.

  • albert
    July 01, 2010 - 20:25

    I guess it is now mayor THE MAD HATTER. Still doesn't fix the mess called Karwood Drive or Topsail Road.
    Straighten it out HATTER before a child gets killed.

  • Yesman3000
    July 01, 2010 - 20:25

    First of all, the draw of a name from a hat is a PROVINCIAL LAW under the Municipalities Act. A couple of yahoos in the room didn't decide to do this. So this could have happened anywhere in NL. It's not specific to Paradise.

    Secondly, a re-vote would be great but it should only be limited to those who voted in the first place. I'm sure there would be no tie this time. I've heard people say if only I had voted on election day. Well, you had your chance whichever way you decided to vote. To open this up to everybody now would be making a greater mockery of the voting system.

  • Mike
    July 01, 2010 - 20:23

    This whole thing floors me, but my favorite part of the entire scenario is that the official process for pick a name from a hat requires specific, 4-step directions.

    How will Paradise choose their Deputy Mayor? Have all the councillors sit in a circle and have the raffle-winner they call their mayor spin a bottle?

  • Nasty
    July 01, 2010 - 20:23

    I bet little Kurtis Coombs knows the elections Act this morning word for word. Might have been a plan to know it prior to running in the first place. Trying to play catch up is not the way to run a community. And things like that come with education and experience, not with parental influence and manipulation.

    The residents and business owners of Paradise should be worried now about the negative publicity this event is casting on their community. Only 24% of you even bothered to cast a vote. Did the other 76% not want either in office, if so there is your majority.

    No mayor required.

  • s
    July 01, 2010 - 20:23

    I think this was a flawed process and i believe Kurtis Coombs is the mayor of paradise.wiseman and his croonies found some way to sneak him back in.Wiseman was useless as a politician and even more useless as a mayor.
    Paradise will never amount to anything with wiseman as mayor that has already been proven!!!

  • Unknown
    July 01, 2010 - 20:22

    Disgusting,pathetic,unreal..etc

    To think that I wasted my time voting when all they had to do was put the names in a recycle bin and decide who gets it.
    Paradise has lost their Steve Kent and it makes me sick to think of another 4 years of wasted money and nothing being done concerning issue's residents have. To think that a man who got into arguments with neighbours during his campaign is our Mayor....I think this was a pretty shady operation and a re-vote should be done not another recount.

  • Elizabeth
    July 01, 2010 - 20:22

    Wouldn't it make sense to have a third count? I mean really, if one was counting money and got two different amounts wouldn't one count it again to establish which was the correct amount? What makes this recount any more reliable than the initial count?

  • don
    July 01, 2010 - 20:20

    They both knew or should have known the rules before they entered. If the ballots turn out to be counted correctly than Mr Wiseman is the winner. Case closed. Do you think Mr(omg the injustice of it all) Coombs would be outraged if his name was picked.

  • I laff at
    July 01, 2010 - 20:20

    STOP THE RACKET from NL writes: Ralph Wiseman sounds just like Danny Williams. Power no matter what. The people of Paradise deserve another chance to send Wiseman packing where he belongs.

    They will have a second chance as required by the same law that everyone should have been very aware of well in advance of the draw.

    In FOUR YEARS. Giver another go and make sure you all vote this time. Guess you people really do have more money than brains if you are willing to keep this event costing you all more and more.

    What's the problem? None of your residents can count to begin with I guess. What will a third count prove, you still can not add? Ya that makes it all better.

  • Go Coombs!!
    July 01, 2010 - 20:19

    If Wiseman is so confident that the People of Paradise want him as their Mayor, then order a re-vote. Im sure there will be a different outcome and Coombs will be will on his way!!! Put it back in the hands of the people, let them decide!!!!

  • Dee
    July 01, 2010 - 20:19

    Ralph said he wanted to fulfill his obligations he made in his run for mayor , he never filled the ones he promised in his first election. ie not passing any streets with water and sewer when they were in that area they were going to do all the streets and not bypass and have to bring back the equipment. So I guess another sham on the people of Paradise. Time to give it up Ralph there's a wiser generation out there, empty fulfillments mean nothing. People are after catching on to the old politican garbage.

  • gerard
    July 01, 2010 - 20:17

    According to reports with the recount, there was one ballot for Coombs spoiled because part of the x was outside the box, should count in my opinion. Also there was another ballot had an x in Coombs box, but had scribbles through it, and the x was also in Wiseman's box with no scribble though it . This was a definite SPOILED BALLOT, but it was counted in Wiseman's favour. If this is actually true, than there is no question as to who really is and who will become mayor after a judical recount, and as for the man being only 19, i wish most of our politicians in office now had his maturity, and no, i don't live in the community.

  • A
    July 01, 2010 - 20:17

    When will the new Welcome To Loony Town sign go up with the new moto, my Mummy will beat you up if you make me cry one more time. Pretty bad seeing what could have been crying yesterday. What would he have done if any policy he wanted was voted down by council? Have his mudder come running to defend him again and again with her little dog too?

    What a joke. My cat wants to be Mayor of Paradise, where does she sign up?

    Lets get this out of the media NOW. No one will want to move to Paradise with a running joke like this going on. This has created more damage to the community than we even realize, business is a thing of the past now.

  • Jay
    July 01, 2010 - 20:16

    Alan you may be misunderstanding how the law works. Kurtis Coombs could certainly have withdrawn his name from such a draw, but then he would have withdrawn from the election. The law clearly spells out what is to be done, and the Paradise town staff followed it to the letter. is it silly? Oh yes. And also ridiculous. But it IS the law. You want it changed? Complain to the provincial government, and I am sure the voters in Terrenceville (where this also happened) will join you.

  • crackie
    July 01, 2010 - 20:16

    BTW for all the Citizens of St. John's- we are covered under the Municipal Elections Act as well, so this would be our fate in the unlikely (but not unheard of) event that any Council position results in a tie.

  • Mike
    July 01, 2010 - 20:15

    Mr. Wiseman, be a man and insit on another recount. Then if a tie is still the result motion for a re-election. The tie is only a result of a few spoiled ballots which although technically it is correct they should have been thrown out, did, point in the favour of Mr. Coombs. Some Other ballots though were spoiled, yet kept in Mr. Wisemans favour I have heard in other media.

    Be a man Mr Wiseman, Mr. Coombs is being one and he only has 1 year as a legal adult under his belt.

  • Don
    July 01, 2010 - 20:14

    If Wiseman had an ounce of integrity, he would INSIST on another vote by the citizens of Paradise to decide this issue. It seems pretty obvious that he isn't wanted when 50% of the voters would just as soon elect an un-tested teenager.

  • gerard
    July 01, 2010 - 20:13

    does it state that the rules for a tied vote in an election also apply to a tied vote in a recount, or do the original winner, keep his seat, could be a thought for the lawyers.

  • Nasty
    July 01, 2010 - 20:13

    Welcome To Paradise - Please Count Your Change THREE Times.

    Our Residents Can Not Count.

  • flexxa
    July 01, 2010 - 20:13

    even after all of this king ralph is unshaken with his arrogance. no media contact until he gets what he wants and not one indication of being humbled by the fact that half the people of paradise voted against him. just when we thought the decorum in chambers had a chance to return to something not reminiscent of andy's rule in st. john's we get this. by the way has a municipal election ever been decided in this way before? even so this practice seems ancient.

  • one word
    July 01, 2010 - 20:13

    one word sums up this fiasco


    PATHETIC



    Only in Newfoundland Labrador I guess

  • Dan
    July 01, 2010 - 20:10

    Re: D. Mockracy ;)

    I remember playing paper rock scissors as a kid, and we were never settled until we played best two out of three, it was the only fair way. I think the same could have been done with the name draw, but then this whole thing is just childish.

    ... maybe they two mayor candidates could have job-shared and then we'd see a new Paradise

  • GAR
    July 01, 2010 - 20:10

    During the election campaign, Ralph Wiseman criticized Kurtis Coombs for running a negative campaign. When he finally won the election, Wiseman said that Coombs ran a fabulous campaign. So what are you saying, Ralph, did Coombs run a fabulously negative campaign or a negatively fabulous campaign ? Two faced geezer.

  • Please
    July 01, 2010 - 20:09

    This is hilarious. This was the best procedure to settle a deadlock? This is nothing but a farce. In my honest humble opinion, why even bother to have an election? With the money that could have been saved they could buy a really nice box, had really fancy paper, and had the name draw on NTV. They also could have ALC put odds on proline and have the gamblers bet who they think would win??? COME ON PEOPLE... THINK BIG... We could make this into a bigger joke then it already is. I mean I saw this on the National last night and I am actually embarassed to say I am from NL, where we decide elections by DRAWING NAMES OUT OF A HAT... HOLY $#@!

  • Paula
    July 01, 2010 - 20:08

    I'm ashamed to say I didn't vote because I thought Kurtis Coombs was a sure win. I'd like to cast my vote now for Kurtis Coombs. That should break the tie!

  • DB
    July 01, 2010 - 20:07

    'democracy at its finest'? This Power fella hasn't got a clue. Wiseman was not elected mayor, he's being appointed, that's not democracy. It'll will speak volumes about Wiseman's character if he keeps this appointment. The ethical thing would be to call for another election between these two. I read elsewhere that the name was drawn from a garbage can, if true, it's appropriately symbolic.

  • Alan
    July 01, 2010 - 20:06

    while this is a terrible way to elect a moyor, it is the law and should be changed - but not now in the middle of a election rather for the next one. Coombs doesnt have a leg to stand on (IMHO), at the time he should have refused to participate in a draw and objected but he allowed it to proceed and when his name isnt the one drawn he cries foul. The big question is this....would Mr Coombs be kicking up the same argument (it isnt a proper democratic process etc...) if they pulled HIS name out of the hat? Do you think if it was HIS name drawn he would say, no I wont accept the mayor seat I believe we should have a judicial recount to find the real winner? I dont think so, if that is the case then he is a hypocrite.

  • Truth
    July 01, 2010 - 20:06

    They followed the law and Wiseman won. Now it will go to a judicial recount if Coombs will/can wage it. That's life.

    And when only 24% of eligible voters go out and vote, you get what you deserve.

  • The Joke
    July 01, 2010 - 20:05

    SO if they re-count & it's a tie again, do they draw the names again?

  • Rick
    July 01, 2010 - 20:04

    What i have been reading is quiet funny to be honest with you .This young man i believe is just a puppet and the real mayor if he is reinstated will be his mother ,when i saw her on tv the night of the election NTV were more interested in what she said than the young man it sounded like she was giving the acceptance speech. This Power character who the hell do he think he is saying a democracy at his finest ,what a joker.I believe that wiseman should man up and step aside if he has the balls to and let this youngmann give it a shot (with the help of his mother ) of course ,And finally i would like to say that the people of Paradise have no one to blame but themselves for this Old geezer to be still running their town maybe a few more people who dont vote and complain all the time about things should of stepped up then the old geezer would not be there today .

  • Ken
    July 01, 2010 - 20:03

    albert from NL Remember the mad hatter reminds us its never the towns fault it is always the citizens, dog owners sprinklers being on, contractors, the provincial government, tim hortons, the police but never the town they had nothing to do with it. God help us four more years of this.

  • crackie
    July 01, 2010 - 20:02

    Yes if the recount is a tie the names will be put in for a draw again - & if Mr. Wiseman doesn't get that one it's the end of the line.

  • t
    July 01, 2010 - 20:02

    I really can't believe this to be a good way of deciding a mayor........I mean, really, draw a name out of a hat????? Come on. They should have a 3rd count of the votes and see how the numbers turn out. 2 counts = 2 different results. The 3rd count will probably show yet another result.

  • A
    July 01, 2010 - 20:01

    This wannabe kid admitted he was not even aware of the elections act. I guess his mother needs to ensure us all that he will study hard and learn everything required to prior to stepping up again in four years. Face it, it was the Mother that wanted this position.

    Have another election with HER name on the ballot as well. And if the majority of registered voters fail to show up and vote this time, FINE them all under the same act to recover the wasted time and expenses this is creating.

  • Stan
    July 01, 2010 - 20:01

    should be based on knowledge. a win looses merit if it is totally based on luck and not on earning. they should have a game of trivial persuit or newfoundlandia to settle the score and decide the winner. at least some way to say the better man won.

  • Wait...
    July 01, 2010 - 20:01

    I can not believe that only 24% of the population even bothered to vote. Clearly neither won the majority, and this needs to be re-done with at least 51% of the residents voting to make it legit.

    And what is with this mother needing to lead her son around by the hand? If she wants the job maybe she needs to have her name on the ballot next time. You never see this with any other candidate. When was the last time anyone saw a winner or loser needing to be driven to the re-count by his or her Mummy?

  • Taxpayer Joe
    July 01, 2010 - 20:00

    Totally insane; to have a large town election come down to a draw out of a re-cycling container is unacceptable. Too many questions can be raised. We can save the cost of elections next time around by putting all cnadidates names in drums and hold a public draw, first ones out wins.
    On another note, can someone please find Councillor Lane in Mount Pearl and ask that he remove his signs; his are the only ones remaining. If he only used the vigor taking them down that he did putting them up he may still be Deputy Mayor, he takes everything for granted.

  • iambrink
    July 01, 2010 - 20:00

    If they are going to pick out of a hat after a tie then why didn't they just do that at first as it was tied before any one voted. 0-0 (luck of the draw decides mayor). This is crazy and numb all at the same time. Either count them again or have a re-vote.

  • Doug
    July 01, 2010 - 19:59

    The end result of all of this is that the residents of Paradise look like a bunch of country bumpkins. Less than half of the eligibile voters bothered to get off their butts and vote with the end result being that they choose a mayor by drawing names out of a hat... and these people claim to be in the fastest growing and most progressive town in eastern Canada?

  • T-Roy
    July 01, 2010 - 19:59

    Shameful. Their should be another vote instead of letting some old conservative who thinks he's entitled to it get it by a draw. A lot of problems in our towns is due to one person constantly being voted in because they are known or popular or a chjaracter and not because they can do the job. Channel-Port aux Basques is one such place still trying to move forward after one family ruled and got all the contract work for decades (while also cutting corners). Streets shouldn't be paved as often as they were but if you own a construction company and your momn is mayor, well...
    The current bunch is running it into the ground also. A cabal of best buddies who cover each others a**es.

  • crackie
    July 01, 2010 - 19:59

    Chris Power told VOCM Night Line with Bill Rowe, the guidelines laid out in the Municipal Elections Act are quite clear that in such circumstances, the names are to be written on pieces of paper and drawn out of a receptacle. He says we have to realize that the process is one that voters have put in place. Sorry, I must have been out of town when we voted on that. Elected politicians via the bureaucrats in Municipal Affairs put the process in place not the voters.

  • Give it
    July 01, 2010 - 19:59

    This is getting as bad as the Chicago Olympic loss in the first round. Obama had no business pushing for it, and was knocked out in the first round. Kurtis was/is a puppet and his mudder should not have been front and centre.

    The LAW wins.

  • Mer
    July 01, 2010 - 19:59

    Surely a run off vote is in order. This can't possibly be the right thing to do. As it stands now, nobody's vote counted!

  • Don
    July 01, 2010 - 19:57

    You're a bum Wiseman, always were and always will be. Now, on top of that, you're a two face bum. One day the Kid is great and when Wiseman loses the Kid is no good. Wiseman yo're such a phony.

  • Robert
    July 01, 2010 - 19:57

    Nast nate now we know why only 24% of the eligible voters voted. Its bad enough that politics today has such a negative tone with people and mostly for good reason, Ed Byrne and Wally Andersen for example, but to have the winner decided by sheet of paper out of a hat.... Scandalous! Not sure of the legal actions that could be involved but should they not count again to try and get 2 counts that at least equaled one of the first 2 counts. The whole town should have to revote again in the event of a tie. Not picked out of a hat. And we wonder why NL is always the butt of jokes. We do it to ourselves.

  • Frank
    July 01, 2010 - 19:57

    We cannot take away the determination of our youth in wanting to be future leaders of our hometown's. There is a very bad trend today in referring to our youth as being usless and unconcerned and wanting the easy way out.

    I have never met Mr. Wiseman, and cannot say if he has been a poor community leader or not. In politics the best are critized as not doing anything for their town and country. A good example of this is The Hon. Paul Martin who worked so hard to get rid of an embarrasing deficit of $45 billion and his boss Jean Chretein was serving his friends Sponsorship Steaks, well done well.after. You can go anywhere in Canada today and people will tell you, Martin should've stayed on as PM. So, the best gets hit hard sometimes by those who don,t weigh the goodness in others until they have stepped aside.

    I think Kurtis Coombs was young and very determined, and will do well in the next round of municipal elections. Unfortunately people are making some unfair remarks, but you cannot take away how this young man feels about others inside. You have those who have been very good supporters of Mr. Wiseman over the years and a change would mean someone might take the sugar out of their cup of tea if someone else takes over the reins.

    Let's not discourage our youth from becoming community leaders.

    Frank Blackwood

  • billy
    July 01, 2010 - 19:55

    Go home Ralph!!! The people spoke and rejected you. It's garbage like you that gives the politcal system a bad name.

  • Youngin'
    July 01, 2010 - 19:54

    Should be an automatic re-vote as far as I'm concerned!! You'll definitly see what the people of Paradise want then. Wiseman would be long gone

  • STOP THE RACKET
    July 01, 2010 - 19:54

    Ralph Wiseman sounds just like Danny Williams. Power no matter what. The people of Paradise deserve another chance to send Wiseman packing where he belongs. Hang in there Kurtis its not over yet. You will emerge from this a much wiser man then Wiseman ever was or could ever hope to be

  • E.
    July 01, 2010 - 19:51

    Power told the media what had happened was democracy at its finest.

    I'm ashamed to be a Newfie because of this clown and the bigger clown he represents.

  • Paradise
    July 01, 2010 - 19:50

    Look, it's always the WRONG people who run in politics! Anybody who has a grain of sense does not run unfortunately!

    To be honest... I wish I had not even bothered to vote because I wasn't torn up on both choices. Do you think this might be a reason why it was such a low turnaround.

  • N
    July 01, 2010 - 19:49

    People!
    Seriously?
    Get a grip on critisizing Kurtis' age, referring to him as a child, holding his mommy's hand. Does it mention anywhere who Wiseman was with? His family members? Anyone? No where. A clear bias in my opinion. I'm sick and tired of people taking the low route and focusing ONLY on Coomb's age. He's obviously more mature than some of the commentors here. This is deplorable. Focus on the real issues at hand. The only people that hold the blame here are the voters themselves. If you made some sort of effort to get out and vote, this whole mess wouldn't have happened in the first place, I assure you.

    Who's the real child here?
    Grow up.

  • Misty
    July 01, 2010 - 19:48

    When a politician, whether it be federal, provincial or municipal ...makes that great sacrifice to offer themselves up, you would think that if there is someone else there also making this great sacrifice ... that he/she would only be too delighted to step aside. Well, ain't sacrifice somethin' you do against your will. Yeah, the old two faced-geezer...... is willing to die for his community and don't interfer.
    We need another election.... come'on guys kick the old hasbeen out.
    Good luck Kurtis ;-)

  • -D. Mockracy
    July 01, 2010 - 19:48

    I said it in the comments section of yesterday's story and I'll say it again:

    Paper Rock Scissors is the only fair way.

    I mean, games of chance are obviously the only logical and fair way to vote in any high-ranking official in a democracy anyway. That's how we decide things in our house.

    If that fails, guess a number between 1 and 100...closest one rules the city!

  • Learn The
    July 01, 2010 - 19:47

    Misty M from NL writes: When a politician, whether it be federal, provincial or municipal ...makes that great sacrifice to offer themselves up, you would think that if there is someone else there also making this great sacrifice ... that he/she would only be too delighted to step aside. Well, ain't sacrifice somethin' you do against your will. Yeah, the old two faced-geezer...... is willing to die for his community and don't interfer.
    We need another election.... come'on guys kick the old hasbeen out.
    Good luck Kurtis ;-)

    You are joking right! You think that because one side lost you get a do over? Thats not how it works. The law is pretty clear on this. You do not like the laws of this province or country, you have the right to move to one that has laws you agree with. Otherwise suck it up sweets, life sucks.

  • NL
    July 01, 2010 - 19:47

    I wonder would Wiseman have been so understanding and accepting of the process if it had been Coomb's name that was drawn from the recycling basket?

  • Reno
    July 01, 2010 - 19:46

    Garbage pickup day approaches. Put Ralph to the curb before he starts to stink more that he already does. Per Ralph's political history he should be the one attending the political science classes. In this case the winner is the biggest loser.

  • Rick
    July 01, 2010 - 19:44

    As you can see Mr. Wiseman talks from both sides of his mouth. Negative campaign one day, great campaign the next. Liars cannot usually keep their story straight. As for Chris, he might be better off keeping his own affairs in order.

  • Jonny
    July 01, 2010 - 19:43

    EUTHANIZE ALL DOGS! VOTE WISEMAN!

  • Tim
    July 01, 2010 - 19:43

    I thought I only saw this circus like electoral outcome in South America. Do the right thing Wiseman - have a run-off.