Libby residents should demand a local government by consent

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To the editor:

America has the advantage of the greatest system of government ever devised — as long as integrity is employed in its administration.

The genius of principles such as a demanding a government derive its just powers from the consent of the governed limit man’s natural propensity to abuse power and authority. It limits the concentration of power, spreads it across the board. So when one person in a position of authority takes it too far, there are checks and balances to rein in abuse and corruption.

Our city council voted unanimously to shed the baggage of dealing with an attorney mired in conflict and seek trusted legal counsel to secure our settlement for the loss of water resources that were polluted by creosote under our homes.

It was a legal vote within their proper authority. The mayor had authority to veto that decision if he had honest reason. Otherwise, he is legally bound to do his job.

Mayor Brent Teske has refused to terminate attorney Allan Paynes’ contract. He has refused to accept recommendations of new prospects from the city attorney. He has abused his power and is pursuing our settlement outside of transparent channels. This action is outside of his authority.

This will end badly unless someone on the council has the integrity to challenge this abuse of authority.

About $4 million has flowed into city coffers in the decade since I worked to secure that settlement, keeping water rates lower than might have been possible without that revenue stream.

The consent of the governed can be exercised by a simple phone call to your favorite city councilor, urging them to pursue integrity. Better yet, come to a meeting. You only get the government you consent to have.

Or, you can just pay higher water rates. Your choice.

DC Orr,

Libby

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