Times are changing

Staff Writer
Mount Shasta Herald

Dear Editor,

It’s well known that the McCloud Community Services board has been unwilling to discuss the Nestle project. The reason why? In fact, MCSD management and board have supported the Nestle project unconditionally from the start in 2003.

Nestle’s five year option and contingency payments to purchase McCloud’s water is almost over. Nestle has not secured their operational permits.

Times are changing. Towns are saying “no” to bottlers. The false myth portraying bottled water a clean industry has been debunked over and over. The bottlers have no one but themselves to blame.

What’s happening elsewhere? Nestle’s Dave Palais has been out searching for other spring water sources. His sales pitch to a few officials in Enumclaw, Wash., near Mt. Rainier, was unanimously turned down.

In that community, the democratic process worked. An ad-hoc committee, that researched the issues and listened to the community, decided the negatives outweigh the positives.

The project, for less water than Nestle is now proposing in McCloud, was unanimously turned down.

Dave Palais, the Nestle salesman, was disappointed by the decision but implied he’d be hustling for water at a neighboring town.

So what’s happening in McCloud? Nestle has announced through the press: the potential changes to their project, their decision to hold their own community meetings, and their intent to renegotiate or amend the contract.

Their announced 60 percent project cutback remains a huge project, probably close to their original intent.

In spite of all this, the MCSD and its board, continues to ignore public requests for discussions or meetings, remains cloistered and refuses still to discuss the many impacts of a water sale.

The question remains. How long can this public agency and its board, ignore the public on this issue?

There is no reason to celebrate.

Diane Lowe