FRED KELLY GRANT ENDORSES STEVE CURTISS FOR COMMISSIONER
PO Box 171341 Boise, Idaho 83706
May 21, 2012
To the Editor:
Without any doubt, with all the energy in my being, I endorse Steve Curtiss for County Commissioner in Lincoln County. Throughout my long career in fighting for local government, I have never met any person more dedicated to defending the rights of the people than Steve Curtiss. The man is tireless in his efforts to see that government SERVES, rather than rules, the people.
He has used the coordination process provided by federal law to neutralize stiff opposition from federal regulatory agencies. He has assured that Glen Lake Irrigation District continually serves its members, without federal regulatory interruption. As Commissioner he can fight to assure that the County government serves all the people of the County in the same way.
Steve possesses an inner faith that guarantees something rare among elected officials: every citizen will be treated fairly, without special privileges. For fifty years I have worked throughout the nation. I have never seen any person more fit and qualified to serve as County Commissioner, in the right way, than Steve Curtiss.
Fred Kelly Grant
3612 S. Weathered Avenue
Boise, Idaho 83706And also by this author:
STEVE CURTISS WILL MOVE LINCOLN COUNTY MONTANA IN THE RIGHT WAY
In yet another election race, Montanans have a chance to be served by a dedicated elected official---an official who would work FOR the people, to SERVE the people, rather than RULE the people.
I am proud, beyond words, to endorse Steve Curtiss who is campaigning to be a County Commissioner in Lincoln County, Montana. Most readers know that for the last two decades of my career, I have worked as hard as I could, and can, to provide local governments with the means to fend off efforts by federal regulatory agencies to control local affairs. I have used the coordination process provided by federal law to help local elected officials gain meaningful representation of their citizens. In every place that the elected officials have truly WANTED the process to work, and have WORKED to make it succeed, the process HAS WORKED.
In Lincoln County it has not worked, except in the Glen Lake Irrigation District that is located within the countyís boundaries. There, under the direction of Steve Curtiss, Glen Lake has attained meaningful status with the Forest Service and with the Fish and Wildlife Service. The Forest Service put pressure on Glen Lake to agree that the Service could control the use of the water for irrigators. Steve and his Board would not budge in their defense of their irrigator members. They effectively used the coordination process to back down the Service.
The Fish and Wildlife Service insisted that the District apply for a permit that would admit that the District was violating the Endangered Species Act. Again, Steve and his Board backed down the federal regulators thorough the coordination process.
What he has done for Glen Lake, he can do for Lincoln County. Why has coordination not worked in Lincoln County? Because the current commissioners DO NOT WANT IT TO WORK and will not work to make it work. One new commissioner, Steve Curtiss, could change that. Under the federal law, even ANY ONE COMMISSIONER can initiate coordination, even if the others do not have the stamina or desire to do so. Steve could make the process effective because he "gets it"; he knows how to use coordination, how to be strong and not be intimidated by federal regulators.
In the Montana legislature during its last session, a blatant misrepresentation took place when an association representative said that coordination had not worked for Glen Lake Irrigation District. He introduced an outdated letter from the Forest Service saying that they would not coordinate with the District. Of course, he did not bother to introduce the subsequent letter reversing that position, and agreeing to meet and coordinate. The Forest Service reversal occurred after the coordination issue was taken directly to the Chief of the Forest Service in DC. Steve Curtiss was instrumental in bringing about the change of position.
Steve Curtiss would be the greatest nightmare imaginable for members of associations and profit-making organizations that try to usurp the constitutional duties of county commissioners. These associations and organizations prefer REGIONAL GOVERNMENT to local government. They make their money from convincing counties that they canít represent themselves, that they need statewide and regional associations to represent their interests. Well, the interests that get represented through these groups are those of Helena, Missoula, and Bozeman----not Lincoln County and rural Montanans. Steve Curtiss would not tolerate such associations to curb his individual efforts for the citizens. If even one more commissioner joined with him, the interests of Lincoln County citizens would be protected locally, not by Helena professionals.
Curtiss has guided Glen Lake Irrigation District through some troubled waters, and has never let the District falter in its prime purpose of delivering irrigation water sufficient for its users to prosper. The Districtís members always come first in his work-day and even in his "off" time with his family. I have personally witnessed him excuse himself from a family gathering and leave to go take care of a problem faced by an irrigator. He is that kind of man; he can be tenacious when he has to be with federal, state and county government officials who like to RULE rather than SERVE. But, he is the most considerate, courteous government official with the regular citizens that I have ever seen. And, I have "seen" thousands of government officials, elected and appointed.
I have been present when Steve directly confronted an assistant Attorney General of the United States in Denver regarding the water rights serving Glen Lake Irrigation District. He more than held his own, and caused the AG to spend several months re-adjusting his program and agenda as a result of Steveís work and thorough knowledge of water rights. As a result of his research, knowledge and tenacity, the District lost none of its water rights even under the ill-advised Montana Compact in which the Montana legislature GAVE to the Forest Service water rights that the United States Supreme Court said the Service did not have. Others throughout the state lost, or had water rights restricted; not Glen Lake.
Steve is a good man, a good Christian man. He cares for his God and his family first and foremost. But, he cares for his friends and his fellow-man a close second. When he leaves family gatherings to serve his constituents, his family knows that he is performing a duty that calls to all of them as well as to him.
I know of no county, no city, no group of citizens, no one citizen who has ever asked Steve for help that he denied. He has travelled at his own expense to advise other governments how to achieve the status with federal agencies enjoyed by Glen Lake Irrigation District.
To Steve, it doesnít matter the level of government abuse----he dislikes county abuses of rights as much as he dislikes federal abuses of rights. He and a dedicated group of landowners strongly opposed the imposition of unnecessary rigid lakeshore rules and regulations by the Lincoln County Commissioners. Neither the Planners nor the Commissioners listened to the scores of citizens who opposed the regulations that were never shown to be necessary. Under Montana statutes, the rules were to be established only for natural lakes IN NEED OF protection. The Lincoln County planners, its planning commissioners, and its Commissioners could show no need of such protection. Their arrogance toward the citizens was demonstrated by the fact that they DIDNíT EVEN TRY TO STATE AND SHOW A NEED for the rules. They even applied the rules to the man-created reservoir that provides water for Glen Lake Irrigation Districtsí landowner irrigators. But, in spite of the unconstitutional, illegal application of rules, Glen Lake Irrigation District continues to do its job in managing the reservoir. Curtiss and his other Board members did not knuckle under to the arrogance of the Lincoln County courthouse.
Those rules and their form demonstrate the complete lack of concern on the part of county employees and elected officials for the state law and for the rights of citizens. At a public hearing the planner said that she had pretty much written the rules herself, using pieces of other regulations. In fact, a fifteen minute survey of "Lakeshore regulations" that came up with a simple Google search showed regulations with the exact same verbiage being imposed or offered in Texas, Oklahoma, Arizona, Wisconsin, Illinois, New Jersey and several other states throughout the nation. A Board of Commissioners that had Steve Curtiss as a member would not tolerate the abuse of property rights evidenced in those lakeshore rules.
Curtiss believes fervently in the liberty that our forefathers protected through the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution. He believes that individual property rights must be protected if we are to survive in rural America. He has conducted himself personally, and in his official capacity, in a way to promote protection of property rights of every citizen.
2013 is going to be a tough year for landowners in rural America. We will face the most devastating flood of federal regulations---no matter how the presidential elections turn out. If the incumbent is elected, the regulations will be spread through the next two years; if he is defeated, the November to January months will be filled with issuance of regulations such as the EPA dust control and boiler quality regulations, the Corps of Engineers "clean water act" regulations that will extend federal control over all waters in the nation and others. It will be critical for local citizens to have someone in their county government to help hold the federal regulators at bay. Steve Curtiss will bring that mentality to the Lincoln County Board of Commissioners.
Often, his efforts have been ignored or disparaged by Montana newspapers who favor incumbent policies---regardless of their impact on individual citizens. But his efforts have been neither ignored nor disparaged by organizations and citizens who fight daily for protection of property and personal rights.
The question is whether enough voters in Lincoln County have become so apathetic and jaundiced by the "same old, same old" at the courthouse will bother to vote. If there are enough citizens who are just plain tired of being ignored by their elected officials, and care enough to vote, Steve Curtiss should do well. I wish him well in his campaign to serve the people---instead of being served by them.
In case anyone misreads this article to this point: I HEARTILY, AND CHEERFULLY ENDORSE STEVE CURTISS FOR LINCOLN COUNTY COMMISSIONER.