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Condo fighters dig deep for candidates

The Ridgeway Herald special web release

The Fort Erie Waterfront Preservation Association contributed the most amount of money to candidates in the municipal election.

The non-profit corporation which was established to oppose the Bay Beach condominium project donated $1,600 to three candidates.

Ann-Marie Noyes received $650 for her unsuccessful mayoral bid. John Hill and Paul Collard respectively received $500 and $450 for their successful campaigns to become councillors.

According to the election finances statements filed with the Town clerk, FEWPA directors are Garett Reid, Phil Smith and Hans Schonewille.

Curious transactions occurred between Noyes and Bob Steckley where a company called Strategic Treatment Assessment and Rehabilitation, of which Noyes is the president, gave $600 to Steckley’s campaign and Steckley gave $300 to Noyes’ campaign. Debbie Steckley also contributed $300 to the Noyes campaign.

The maximum allowable contribution from a single contributor to a candidate is $750. Only individual persons who normally reside in Ontario, corporations that conduct business in Ontario or trade unions with bargaining rights in Ontario are allowed to donate.

Another curious set of transactions occurred in the Hill,  campaign and the Don Lubberts campaign. Both list contributions of $200 each from Ken Smith. On Hill’s statement his address is listed as 341 Eastwood Ave., and in Lubberts’ statement it is listed as Glenolden Drive with no street number.

Kenneth Smith is listed on Noyes’ contributor list as residing at 20 Brookedge Drive, Amherst, N.Y., also for $200, but is marked as being returned as an ineligible donation.

Doug Martin returned two donations. One was a $750 donation from Robert Rich Jr. and the other was from TMOO Enterprises Inc. of Fort Erie of which the president is Tom Mountain for $500. Mountain is also listed as president of another corporation that donated $500 so his combined contributions would have exceeded the $750 limit.

Martin received $21,974 in donations to help fund his total campaign expenses of $34,179. His campaign also earned $11.44 interest, included a surplus of $3,603.16 from the previous election and he paid $8,409.74 out of his pocket.

Noyes received $15,132.78 in donations to fund total campaign expenses of $25,382.57 and paid $9,572.79 out of her pocket.

Both mayoral campaigns were audited by an accountant, a process that is required if expenditures exceed $10,000. No other candidate spent more than that.

Stephen Passero (Ward 1) received $1,490 in contributions from others, paid $100 out of his own money and spent $2,101.50. Other income included $948 for inventory from the previous election.

Rick Shular (Ward 2) received $350 in contributions, contributed $3,337.60 of his own and spent $3,654.86.

Bob Steckley (Ward 3) received $999.99, contributed $800 himself and spent $3,023.62. His campaign included $1,087.59 for inventory from the previous election.

John Hill (Ward 4) received $2,950 in contributions, added $500 himself and spent $4,744.02. He also recorded $305 in donations of less than $100 each from contributors, $300 from a fundraising event, and $788.11 in goods and services.

Don Lubberts (Ward 5) received $4,010.52 in contributions, paid $1,005.20 himself and spent $4,843.93.

Paul Collard (Ward 6) received $732.50, contributed $847 himself and spent $1,579.50.

The following is the list of contributors who gave more than $100 each to the mayoral candidates and the successful council candidates.


Individuals — Michael Rutherford 750, Randy Foster 500, Patrick Mines 750, William Miller 500, Heinz Hummel 250, Libby Marinaro 750, James Miller 750, Mary Miller 750, Peter Koutroulakis 250, Judy Fell 200, Helmut Strom 500, Mary Beth Passero 250, Roderick McDowell 500, Bradley Kovachik 250, Thomas Stack 200, Paul Mirrlees 500, Kirk Zavitz 250, Marlene Bailey 500, Terry Suess 250, Fredrick Louws 200, Denise Faraday 250, David Hurren 200, Barry Willer 300.

Corporations — J. Muro Plumbing and Heating 250, Peninsula Custom Brokers 200, Rosehill Auction House 750, 1578875 Ontario Inc. (Tom Mountain president) 500, Bridgewater Tournaments 250, Bridgewater Country Club 250, The Plaice Restaurant 500, 1267 Garrison Road Inc. 375, 1071063 Ontario Inc. (David Kompson president) 375, Alfred Beam Excavating 500, Timbro Refrigerated Structures 500, Parklane Home Builders 750, Bertie Printers 200, Fortis Ontario 750, Royal Customs Brokers 500, Century 21 Today Realty 250, Glenny Insurance 190, Jack Shaw Enterprises 200, Frontier Distributing 250, Weinmann Electric 500, 771647 Ontario Ltd (Brad Murphy president) 200, Casey Corp Erie Restaurants Inc. (Peter Patterson president) 300, James A Brown Ltd. 300, Garrison Square Plaza Inc. 250, Warren Woods Land Inc. 250, Erie Personnel Corp. 750, Heavy Construction Association of Regional Niagara 500, LIUNA Local #837 500, Grey Power 250, Ridgeway Estates Ltd. 250

Goods or services — Ridgeway By The Lake, meeting expenses 200.


Individuals — Bill Brunton 200, L. Dean 175, W. Rutherford $750, F. Susin 200, L. Woodruff 400, M. Athoe 170, Frances VanEsch 500, H. Heussler 100, D. Pastuck 200, B. Owen 700, Terry Suess 250, R. Heckman 200, Alf Beam 250, Joyce Lea 200, Bob Steckley 300, Debbie Steckley 300, Ed and Mary Geyer 210, Brenda and Jochem Korten 140, Terry White 280, Wayne and Marjorie Brown 135, Sherry Reinhart 210, Peggy Hirons 105, Brenda Jamieson 135, Anne Kelley 175, Joyce Lea 105 (second contribution), Leonard and Helenlee Lewis 105, Thomas Lewis 150, Maria Reade 210, Sandra Waller 140, John Steckley 350, Michael Kelly 215.

Corporations — Alf Beam Excavating 250, Hamill Machine Co. 140, Mazzarini Trucking 100, Niagara Roofing 100, Strategic Treatment Assessment and Rehabilitation 750, Fort Erie Waterfront Preservation Association Inc. 650.

Goods or services — Gay Benner, silent auction item 218, Gary Bartcher, donated sign 200, Rick’s Old Tyme BBQ, food for election night 400, Michael Kelly, silent auction item 215.


Individuals — Kay Green 250, Marcus Little 250, Ingrid Passero 350, Joyce Lea 100.

Goods or services — Dave Shaw, brochures 540.


Individuals — Paul Mirrlees 250.


Corporations — Strategic Treatment Assessment and Rehabilitation 600.


Individuals — Peter G. Perham 300, Peter Gleeson 250, Dave Shaw 150, Mike Rutherford 750, Ken Smith 200, Mike Dorschner 250.

Corporations — Fort Erie Waterfront Preservation Association 500.

Goods or services — Ridgeway’s Restaurant, meet and greet appetizers 375, Ridgeway’ Restaurant, election party appetizers 375, Summer Delight Diner, hot dogs and buns 38.11.


Individuals — Ken Smith 200, Fred Louws 200.


Listed under individuals — FEWPA 450.

Goods or services — Bertie Printers, brochures $282.50.

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  1. Rick | May 14, 2011 | Reply

    Mr. Cloutier,

    I find your paper, your comments, your biases, your “knitpicking” your rants, slants & pink elephants annoying, much the same as you portray yourself when you are out in public. After reading through (for the first and hopefully last time)your “rag” (how appropriate)I wonder if you’ve got Bob Steckley in your crosshairs? Get a life Mike…too bad you couldn’t get a real job for a real newspaper. I will be sure to visit all of your business support partners to inform them I won’t be using their services anymore and stating my reasons for doing so. I suppose even the National Enquirer has people who buy advertising. Hey, there’s an idea for an article…”Elvis seen impersonating Bob Steckley at Fort Erie Town Council meeting” or better yet “Thousands healed as Bay Beach Condo project sheds actual tears”

  2. Mike Cloutier | May 14, 2011 | Reply

    Gee, thanks Rick. Mind if I use your comment in the paper?

  3. Mike Cloutier | May 14, 2011 | Reply

    Define a “real” job at a “real” newspaper. You don’t like it that someone covers town council. Fine, you go sit there for hours on end. You don’t care how your taxes are spent, how public servants conduct themselves as guardians of the public trust. Too bad. Rick, why don’t you tell us what makes a “real” newspaper — fishing derbies and bad roads. I guess not bad roads because that’s directly on Steckley’s plate. Or how about that new curbing in Ridgeway that everyone hates. Same thing. So I guess it’s just fishing derbies. Thanks for your insight on my profession. What are you doing with yourself lately?

  4. Lesley North | May 18, 2011 | Reply

    I have attended the council meeting and read the articles that you have written. I feel you are more than fair on the way you report. I would not be as kind to the fab four as you have been. I find your articles are very factual and easy to understand. I have read the comment from Rick now 3 times and am still saying “What is the point to Rick’s rant????” “Pink Elephants”??? Am I missing something here?
    Keep up the good work Mike! Fort Erie is counting on you and the rest of the media…I have not seen any other paper singing the praise of the fab four. Perhaps Rick can tell us what paper is praising the fab four. Oh Yea, forgot about the FEWPA website.

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