This is huge. It means that thousands of Flathead County residents support the Egan Slough Zoning District as a possible means of stopping MAWC.
In November 2016, the Flathead County Commissioners denied its citizens the right to protect themselves from a corporate water bottling plant in Creston, the Montana Artesian Water Company (MAWC). By due process of law, if enough signatures on a ballot-initiative petition were collected to represent 15% of the active Flathead County voters, the petition would be put on the Fall 2017 ballot. Then, if the majority of the county votes "yes" to protect Flathead Farms and Water, the Commissioners’ decision would be overruled and the zoning district would be expanded.
*For 60 days after certification of petition signatures, the Commissioners have the power to adopt the initiative and forego the vote. This would be August 25th. But they refuse. Therefore, they must (it is not optional) declare the election 85 days before the election date in order for the vote on the initiative to take place. For the November 7 election, that is August 14. Again, they refuse to do so. And again, they must do this under statutory requirement. We have repeatedly asked the Commissioners to announce the vote.
Tuesday August 8th, a writ of mandate was filed with the District Court asking Judge Heidi Ulbricht, to force the commissioners to declare the election. Read about it here. A writ of mandate is a big deal. But the Judge Ulbricht ruled that 60 days must have passed before the 85-day countdown starts. With this ruling, Flathead County residents would be prevented from voting to protect themselves until June 2018, nearly 10 months away.
In 2006, a court case in Ravalli County ruled that the 60-day and 85-day countdowns can occur simultaneously, recognizing the that the people's right to vote at the next election should be upheld and respected. Based on this, a petitioner filed a motion asking Judge Ulbricht to reconsider.
People of the Flathead, thank you for signing. Thank you for supporting. And if you've been practicing any restraint, now is the time to let loose and tell the Commissioners how you feel.
- Call the Commissioners individually and demand they adopt the petition by August 25th or announce the election.
- Email the Commissioners through Elaine Nelson at email@example.com to make sure your request goes on public record. Demand they adopt the petition by August 25th or announce the election.
Give 'em hell. Or at least drown them in messages and emails.
find out more at: Yes! for flathead farms & water
P.S. Did you hear esteemed Commissioner Phil Mitchell has been accused of a felony? Click here.
(That being said, there's still time to contact Governor Steve Bullock. As a reminder, he has nothing. Zero. Nada. Tell him to do his frickin' job and issue an Environmental Impact Statement. Click 'Take Action' below.)