Shapleigh citizens have spoken once again by banning large scale water extraction for resale outside of Shapleigh. By our vote on Saturday, February 28, 2009, we also rejected the Board of Selectmen’s support of Nestle Waters/Poland Springs over that of it’s citizens.
Residents have consistently made it clear that they want their Constitutional Rights to take precedence over a Swiss conglomerate (Nestle/Poland Springs). We believe Nestle/Poland Springs is completely and exclusively responsible for causing this year-long distress to our town’s residents. By its behavior Nestle has shown us, in Shapleigh, what other small towns in the U. S. already know (e.g. Fryeberg) about this foreign corporation whose values are not those of Maine people. They use our regulations, or lack of, for their financial gain. Town officials have shown that they do not understand they are suppose to represent the people who elected them to public office.
Town officials initially stated publicly that the citizens would make the final decision before anyone would be allowed to extract large volumes of water for resale. Why then did they reject the people’s efforts to provide input to the Regulatory Ordinance? Do they feel they know what is best for us?
We have been consistently told that our Rights-Based Ordinance is unconstitutional. To what Constitution are they referring? Not the Constitutions we have read! We can’t find any mention of giving up our rights.
In the opinion of Attorney Ronald Bourque, the Ordinance we overwhelmingly passed is “illegal, unconstitutional and unenforceable.” Why? Because they said so!
In the opinion of Attorney Lynne Williams, “By substituting their opinions for the wisdom of the court, and for attempting to block a democratic vote on a proposed ordinance, the Shapleigh Selectmen have acted unreasonably.”
Marty & Barbara Britten
No. Shapleigh, Maine