State Supreme Court Rightfully Disagreed With Yelm Mayor’s Opinion



The Nisqually Valley News’ Oct. 16 front page headline box heralding Mayor Ron Harding’s comment missed the mark:

“I think we were singled out because we have a local entity, or entities, that want to control growth through water. That’s the only conclusion I think a reasonable person could come up with.”

In saying such, Harding continued to banter his now-tired phrase about restricting growth and derided two area landowners who properly took their water rights cases to the state’s highest court when they felt their property rights were aggrieved.

That the Washington Supreme Court accepted both citizens’ cases from the same town was historic. That JZ Knight and Sara Foster each won (almost four years apart) is a testament to the process, which has crafted Washington water law far into the future from right here in Yelm.

Neither of Knight’s or Foster’s cases were about controlling/restricting growth through water; rather, as Justice Charles Johnson simply wrote in the Foster case, municipal water needs do not rise to the level of overriding public interest.

“That’s the only conclusion I think a reasonable person could come up with” in reading this decision, and six Supreme Court justices agreed.

Steve Klein



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