January 17, 2012 | Denise Penttila
Defending Water for Life in Maine recently had the opportunity to speak to Rodney Butler, Supervisor of the Brewer Maine Water Department. Last fall 2 articles appeared in the Bangor Daily News about Mr. Butler leaving his job as the Code Enforcement Officer in Brewer. The first stated that he was leaving Brewer to take an engineering job with Nestle/Poland Spring. The next article stated that Mr. Butler was returning to Brewer to take the job as water district Supervisor.
Just 20 years ago Nestle came to Maine by buying out Maine’s local company Poland Spring and began expanding their empire by exploiting Maine’s weak laws and using their money and power to build their operations in spite of strong local opposition and legal battles brought against them by Maine citizens. This hostile take over of Maine’s groundwater, a finite resource, by Nestle/Poland Spring is the reason we at Defending Water for Life in Maine are working hard to identify what and where Nestle’s next moves will be.
When we read the stories about Mr. Butler in the Bangor Daily News we were concerned about his involvement with Poland Spring and wondered if Brewer would be the next town that Nestle would be looking to for further expansion. During our conversation Mr. Butler let us know that, he had briefly worked for Nestle/Poland Spring but he had decided to leave the Nestle engineeing job because it required him to be away from his family during the week. He firmly states that at this time he does not work for Nestle/Poland Spring. Also, that his goal as water Supervisor is to provide good, safe water for the people in Brewer. We appreciate his candid explanation of his job and of the turn of events in his work/life.
Defending Water calls on Maine towns and state government to strongly support transparent public water management and publicly-owned infrastructure to provide water for local use. We work to support local control in protecting water for the benefit of people and local ecosystems. Such local self-governance is the essence of democracy. We will continue to be vigilant in our work to locate, expose and fight against any threats to Maine groundwater by Nestle/Poland Spring or by any other entity which attempts to profit from exploiting Maine’s water which is our commonly held heritage or by our own state government promoting such exploitation.
We sincerely wish Mr. Rodney Butler much success as he works to provide good management and good water for the residents in Brewer.