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Compact negotiators should be fired

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In spite of the district court ruling by Judge C.B. McNeil that the Flathead Joint Board of Control does not have the authority to enter into any agreement that circumvents the rights of private ownership of lands in the Flathead Irrigation District, or that the board owns or controls any portion of the collection and distribution network of the district, our elected representative to the legislature, Dan Salomon, who is full aware of the court findings and the question of the compact’s legality, has not only endorsed the compact but will introduce it to the legislature by sponsoring it as his bill.

Folks, this issue is no longer about water. It is a blatant attack upon taxpayers and the open declaration that our negotiators don’t care about the law or constitutional rights. Property rights are of no concern. Opposition to the bureaucratic elitists is simply defined as “ignorant citizens not knowing what is good for them.” 

Government is not your friend. There will always be a price tag attached to their offers of do-gooding. Generally, it is taxes, but in this case, it is your property rights. The easy thing for the “negotiators” to do is make promises with your money, or in this case, your constitutional rights. For those of you who think this is a good deal, where do you propose to draw the line? Better yet, when this turkey comes home to roost, are you sure you can feed it? Personally, I would rather farm dry land than be subjected to a perpetual tax that can be levied at the discretion of a new bureaucracy, the “CME.” Irrigators, at best, would be given marginal voice. Under the compact, the Flathead board’s primary function is to act as a conduit for taxes collected by the Lake County Treasurer under the alleged authority of the Montana Department of Revenue. 

The continued actions of the board and the compact commission lead me to believe that a contempt of court charge should be filed against our “negotiators,” along with a recall of board members who have continued to pursue this compact. In addition, there should be an immediate termination of Chris Tweeten and Jay Weiner as the state’s compact negotiators, as well as the immediate firing of Alan Mikkelsen, the advisor to the FJBC, on grounds he misrepresented his knowledge of constitutional law and the rights of private ownership.

Joseph G. Brooks


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