Kudos to Mrs. Amy Waller for taking the issue of the special election on the zoning issue/water bottling plant to the Supreme Court of Montana.
What your very factually accurate article didn’t point out, and rightly so, as it was not an opinion piece, is that this action by Waller was an attempt to protect the rights of the citizens of the valley, which have been trampled upon by our county commissioners.
The commissioners have dragged their feet in not certifying this issue for an election and have failed to act within 60 days in order not to have an election in November which could overturn their earlier arbitrary and capricious denial of expansion of the zone (which would preclude the water bottling plant). Their foot dragging is nothing more than a poke in the eye to the electorate. They are afraid to put their decision to deny to a public vote because they know that the public is overwhelmingly in favor of not having someone steal our water and ship it out of state.
When this issue came before the commissioners for a vote, there were hundreds of voters in attendance who were for the expansion and spoke in favor of it while there was only one supporter of the Weavers who want to put a water bottling plant within this zone. So they have now latched upon a technicality in the law which allows them to take up to 60 days to certify and thereby bypass the right of the people to decide how their water should be used.
A June 2018 election could well be too late! One of the commissioners commented that this election could cost over $100,000 if it is held in November. Well, they are happy to use our tax money to fight this issue in court simply to uphold their earlier decision. They could and should vote again to allow the zoning expansion which reflects the will of the people of this valley and would save us all a good deal of money.
If anyone is not sure about this entire water bottling problem we face, just ask yourself this question: Who is going to benefit from the extraction of this huge amount of water that will be shipped out of state? Anyone besides the Weavers and a bottling corporation who might want to take over the operation? What do the commissioners have to gain from this? What do we residents of the valley have to gain, besides clogged highways with semi trucks, dust pollution, road repairs we have to pay for, and the same threat of depleted wells faced by many other places in the U.S where water bottlers have gone in and taken huge amounts of water for their own personal gain.
Do you think the tourists that flock here, especially in the summer, are going to like having to deal with all of these trucks on our county roadways. This could have a huge negative impact on the tourist industry and the overall economy of the Flathead. Stand up to this board of commissioners now and let them know they should reverse their decision. —David Eychner, Kalispell