– Editor’s note:
As was the case when I ran against Ron Harding for mayor in 2015, I am for open government and accountability, coupled with following the process. That’s why I am so outspoken when I see just the opposite here.
While I genuinely like Mayor Harding when I speak with him face-to-face, I do not support his lack of of public openness and not adhering to the process (statutes, ordinances).
After seeing Mr. Harding’s ridiculous headline quote in the Nisqually Valley News last week on the WA Supreme Court decision against Ecology more than doubling Yelm’s water rights, I wrote this Letter to the Editor, published in today’s NVN to set the record straight:
– Printed in today’s Nisqually Valley News:
The NVN’s Oct. 16 front-page headline box heralding Mayor Harding’s comment missed the mark:
“I think we were singled out because we have a local entity, or entities, that want to control growth through water.
That’s the only conclusion I think a reasonable person could come up with.”
In saying such, Harding continued to banter his now-tired phrase about restricting growth and
derided two area land owners who properly took their water rights cases to the state’s highest court when they felt their property rights were aggrieved [by the City of Yelm & Ecology, respectively].
That the WA Supreme Court accepted both citizens’ cases from the same town was historic. That JZ Knight and Sara Foster each won (almost 4 years apart) is a testament to the process,
which has crafted Washington water law far into the future from right here in Yelm.
Neither of Knight’s or Foster’s cases were about controlling/restricting growth through water,
rather as Justice Charles Johnson simply wrote in the Foster case, municipal water needs do not rise to the level of overriding public interest [in this case].
“That’s the only conclusion I think a reasonable person could come up with” in reading this decision, and six Supreme Court justices agreed.