Some people have been confused by a statement issued by the Municipality on their Facebook page regarding Council candidate, Chris Wilson. He had registered an incorrect email address when he signed up as a candidate, and some residents wondered why a statement was released about it. To clarify the situation, I should note that Mr. Wilson has attacked the NG Times on Facebook claiming that we failed to include him when we asked candidates to answer questions as part of the campaign. Their responses will be published in the Times. He also complained that he had not been asked to submit a photograph of him reading the Times for World News Day.
We explained to him that we had, in fact, sent him the same emails as all other candidates based on public records at the municipal office, but he claimed he had not received them, denied that this was an honest mistake, and refused to accept our offer of a public apology in the Times. His reply was: “ I do not believe this was a mistake. I will be publicly sharing my views on this soon.” And so he stated on Facebook that we had never contacted him.
The problem was that he had provided everyone with the wrong email address in the first place. We sent him again copies of the original emails in which we had invited him to contribute, but he refused to accept that we might have made a mistake. Except, we didn’t. What makes the situation more concerning is that he knew, even before he accused us, that his email was incorrect. The day before he began complaining to us about excluding him, he had contacted the Municipality to inform them of the incorrect email address he had registered. He knew that it was his mistake, not ours, yet he decided to carry on without informing us of his correction.
That is, at least in part, why the Municipality issued their statement: to clarify the situation. Anyone trying to contact him using his registered email on file at the municipal office at that time would not have received a reply, and assumed he had received their communication, as we did.
The NG Times advocates for a fair and informed electorate and as such sponsors open candidate debates. Our paper only prints information that can be verified and supported with fact. Sadly the latest response from this candidate suggests otherwise, and in addition to suggesting we work together to de-escalate this situation, he further wrote: “If you are planning on continuing to try and make this my fault, I want to remind you guys what I do for a living. I am a liability specialist who works with all types of media companies to protect against lawsuits. I understand deeply the intricacies of personal injury liability, media liability, and advertising liability. If you make claims in your paper, that you are unable to adequately back up with facts, you will he held personally responsible for any damages you cause me or my campaign. I would suggest you err on the side of caution in your language when describing the situation and be careful not to misrepresent any facts. ”