Voting on the Coal Plant

A commenter takes issue with Mary Jolley's suggestion that we should have been allowed to vote on the coal plant:

"It has been explained to her numerous times that the citizens DO NOT vote on private business - like SME- even if the city is or is not involved. Let's vote on another WalMart, OK?"

What a disingenuous statement that is. Sure, SME is a private company and the citizens do not get to vote on what it does or doesn't do. Just like Walmart, as Einstein puts it.

But let's put on our retrospectoscopes, shall we, and assume that 5 years ago the citizens of this community voted overwhelmingly against the city's involvement in building a coal plant out on the Salem property. What would have happened?

No water contract. Dealbreaker. What would the County have done on zoning in the face of a negative vote? Dealbreaker. No city support on EIS. Dealbreaker? No contributing 25% of SME's development costs for a 15% (or less) ownership interest. Dealbreaker?

Don't come on here and say stupid sh*t, whoever you are. Of course the City residents could have voted on the coal issue and of course it would have mattered.

If we had the vote now, could we extricate ourselves? That is a less clear possibility, although it is still possible.


Anonymous said...

Why did the commission revoke the public right to vote?

Why was there no contract?

Anonymous said...

More importantly, why does the commission feel that the people of GF don't count? THAT is what really bothers me. Ms. Kuntz basically said as much. She said that since she was "elected", no further input from the citizens of GF was necessary. She and she alone (along with jonny, donna, and co.) would make any decisions necessary regarding the plant. This is an arrogance beyond belief. Where DID she recieve her civics training? And let's face it. If the damn thing should happen to be built, we the people of GF will be reminded daily of the supreme arrogance and disdain this commission had for us, for it will be the dominant landmark to the north, like a gigantic middle finger raised in defiance to the people of Great Falls saying in essence SCREW YOU! We'll do what we damn well please! That is why these people need to get voted out of office. And I think they will. I mean, if an issue like the closing of East can cause such an uproar, think what this porposed plant will do! They're done. The record number of absentee voters tells the story. Ms. Kuntz will soon have to appear as a member of the audience as city commission meetings! And I'm quite sure that the Honorable Mayor Ed McKnight will not have her arrested!!!!


Anonymous said...

Right on LK.....Many thousands of us feel the same way. Come on Nov 6th........

mary jolley said...

I've been told numerous times....
No I haven't been told.
Go do a google seasrch type in Public Power and read all the ballot Measures that other towns and cities have had for residents to vote on BEFORE the city spends money to own or be a part owner of a PU. Sometimes the cities try to buy the existing Invester Owned utility and some want to own part of a new generation source.
To be more specific in the search field type in Tallassee Public Power. Tallahesse, the city had a ballot measure that asked "do you wnat the city to own part of the plant." Citizens voted NO. So then the city had another ballot measure that asked, "do you want the city to own part, if the plant if it will be built without the city?
I won't spoil the suspence. You can look it up. In July of 2006 Mr. Lawton asked me if I had any paper work on cities that voted on this kind of thing. The next day I handed over about a half inch stack from various cities. I would like to know if I am incorect in saying Great Falls is the only town in the USA that has not had a public vote before the creation of a Public Power Arm.
Name that town.

Anonymous said...


You stated could we extricate ourselves? That is a less clear possibility, although it is still possible.


GeeGuy said...

There are a variety of legal theories that one might use. I am not inclined to describe them here, though. See, e.g., educating your opponent.

Anonymous said...

Can you imagine if this plant had to pay for itself and fund with private equity? Only in America can con men get the taxpayers to fund their wet dreams.

I believe all it will take is a cold shoulder from a new city commission to stall this thing dead in its tracks. Sorry SME, we have pressing city business, please take and number and wait your turn.

Anonymous said...

Another issue for SME is this latest breaking story in the WashingtonPost about a large coal plant being rejected in kansas by its own department of health due to the CO2 issues and recent US Suprem Court ruling:


The hearing on HGS air permit will be coming up in January. I wonder if our own DEQ reads the papers?

Anonymous said...

Apparently candidate Bronson doesn't! He happily claimed that our proposed plant met all state and federal guidelines. I really, really, REALLY wanted to jump up and yell (but I didn't) that so did Libby as it was MURDERING over two hundred people! Guess that Bill missed that one too!