Lantzville District Hall.

Lantzville council decides not to investigate identity of Twitter user

Councillor wonders about social media account named for ’80s sitcom character

A social media mystery involving a fictional character from an ‘80s TV show remains unsolved, despite the efforts of a Lantzville councillor.

During a Lantzville council meeting on Monday, councillors discussed a motion that sought the identity of the individual or individuals behind an anonymous Twitter account with the user name @GordShumway1.

The motion was made by Coun. Will Geselbracht, during the discussion of a separate motion calling for an investigation into whether district staff or councillors made promises to a resident regarding subdividing their property.

He motioned that “while investigating that serious matter, we also find out who Gordon Shumway is, who published a defamatory letter against councillor Colclough,” Geselbracht said.

Gordon Shumway was the full name of the alien character in ALF, the 1980s sitcom.

In October 2016, the Twitter account posted a confidential letter to the District of Lantzville from a developer; the correspondence contained information about a development and two current members of Lantzville council.

“Gordon Shumway as far as I know is a cartoon character but he shows up on social media publishing things,” Geselbracht told councillors.

Coun. Denise Haime told councillors she has no idea about the social media account.

“I don’t know who Gordon Shumway is,” she said. “I don’t even know what this letter is, but I would like to know who the letter pertains to because there could be a councillor here in conflict.”

However, Coun. Mark Swain pointed out that one of the account’s followers is an account with the name Denise Haime.

“There was a comment made by councillor Haime that she doesn’t know who Gord Shumway is but I am just checking on Twitter and it looks like councillor Haime has a Twitter account and she is actually a follower,” Swain said.

Coun. Dot Neary called the motion redundant, adding that it would be far too time consuming to undertake such an investigation.

“The lengths that we would have to go to determine this are extreme and I can’t justify it,” she said.

Coun. Bob Colclough removed himself from the discussion, citing a potential conflict of interest.

The motion was defeated with councillors Swain, Neary, John Coulson and Mayor Colin Haime opposed.

Speaking to the News Bulletin afterwards, Geselbracht said he made the motion because he felt the previous motion about an investigation into staff or council regarding possible promises of smaller subdivided lots was ridiculous.

“I tried to respond in kind by dealing with the ridiculous with an absurd,” he said. “But it wasn’t all that absurd because I still want to know who Gordon Shumway is.”

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