Ordinance Petition IS constitutional (letter to ed.)

Letter to Editor – Sanford-Springvale Register
Ward Peck, Editor, Editor@intheregister.com

Citizens of Shapleigh, Newfield, Waterboro, Alfred, Sanford, Springvale, Acton, and all surrounding communities. Believe it or not – we are all in this together, now and/or into the near future.

When we first looked into large scale water extraction and ordinances against such, we found an ordinance in Barnstead, New Hampshire that we fell in love with. It said everything we believe in. As American Citizens and residents of Maine for almost 30 years, we truly believe statements from the State of Maine’s Title 97 Constitution:

Preamble reads:

“We the people of Maine, in order to establish justice, insure tranquility, provide for our mutual defense, promote our common welfare, and secure to ourselves and our posterity the blessings of liberty, acknowledging with grateful hearts the goodness of the Sovereign Ruler of the Universe in affording us an opportunity, so favorable to the design; and, imploring God’s aid and direction in its accomplishment, do agree to form ourselves into a free and independent State, by the style and title of the State of Maine and do ordain and establish the following Constitution for the government of the same.”

Article 1. Declaration of Rights. Section 1. Natural rights:

“All people are born equally free and independent, and have certain natural, inherent and unalienable rights, among which are those of enjoying and defending life and liberty, acquiring, possessing and protecting property, and of pursuing and obtaining safety and happiness.” – AND – Section 2. Power inherent in people. “All power is inherent in the people; all free governments are founded in their authority and instituted for their benefit; they have therefore an unalienable and indefeasible right to institute government, and to alter, reform, or totally change the same, when their safety and happiness require it.”

WE THE PEOPLE of Shapleigh, Maine, in order to establish justice, insure tranquility, provide for our mutual defense, promote our common welfare, and secure to ourselves and our posterity the blessings of liberty . . . have brought forth a Rights-Based Ordinance, and presented it, along with a properly citizen-signed Petition, to Shapleigh’s Board of Selectmen asking that this Ordinance titled ‘Shapleigh Water Rights & Local Self-Government Warrant Article, be placed on the Town Meeting’s Ballot in March, 2009. The Board did as they should, and sent it to the Town’s attorney. The attorney replied they have the right to put it on the Ballot as the 192 town citizens asked, or they could decide not to per legal advice that the proposed Ordinance had some questionable language.

We feel our NATURAL (inherent, unalienable, enjoyment, defending, liberty, acquiring, possessing, protecting, pursuing and obtaining safety and happiness) RIGHTS have been very much denied, as well as all of those that signed the Petition.

Bill Hayes, Ruth Ham, Michael Perro, how many citizens were at the Special Town Meeting September 20, 2008? These citizens successfully told the town there would be NO TEST WELLS on Town Land. These citizens also told the town to institute a 180-Day Moratorium in order to give the Planning Board time to develop a strict and tight Large Scale Water Extraction Ordinance.

Please reconsider your denial. 192 Shapleigh citizens have asked that this Ordinance be placed on the March, 2009, Town Warrant Ballot.

Thank you.

Marty & Barbara Britten
Shapleigh, Maine