More on the Shapleight “Rights-Based” Water Extraction Ordinance

This from the Portland Press Herald outlines the basic clash between citizens and their own Board of Selectmen, who apparently haven’t been listening to their citizens. You can read the entire article at Shapleigh closes tap for water companies:

During a special town meeting Saturday morning, residents voted 114 to 66 to adopt the ban drafted by Protecting Our Water and Wildlife Resources, which had opposed Poland Spring’s efforts to test, draw, bottle and market the town’s water.

The ban had been opposed by the town’s Board of Selectmen, which had favored instead a set of regulations on drawing water in the town that will be on the warrant for the regular town meeting on March 14.

“The problem in Shapleigh is that all three selectpeople want Nestle (Poland Spring’s parent company) in here,” said Shelly Gobeille, one of the leaders of POWWR. “This vote says they can’t come in.”

Will we see yet another attempt by Nestle/Poland Spring to bypass local control? Given the questions being asked by other small towns about Nestle/Poland Spring’s legal activities in Maine’s small towns, do they dare? Do they care?

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3 thoughts on “More on the Shapleight “Rights-Based” Water Extraction Ordinance

  1. Of course they will try again.. Different tactic.. Different town, but don’t think that Nestle/Poland Spring will go away. Not if they have their way!

    And no, Nestle does not care!

  2. Different town? My guess is they’ll pull out all the stops making sure this ordinance doesn’t stick. If it does, then activists will be emboldened in every small town. Nestle’s good neighbor act extends just as far as a town is willing to say “yes.” Their willingness to use legal means to subvert local control is legendary.

    In Shapleigh, the people have spoken. Let’s see if Nestle listens. I have my doubts.

  3. Or they’ll make sure they have their selectmen in place; not tell people about any meetings or public hearings; not publish agendas, take less than perfect notes at any meetings, or tape them for later broadcast on the local cable access station which reaches 50% of the voting public.

    Just remember how the people spoke in Fryeburg with moratoriums. The vote from the people was about 2-1 for the moratoriums. Then, later selectboards later overturned BOTH ordinances. Guess it does not matter what the people say.

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