The Whitehall Ledger - Serving Southern Jefferson County in the Great State of Montana

By Jack H. Smith
Ledger Publisher 

Editorial: Vote would allow residents to decide


While a final decision has yet to be made, it appears local residents will be heading to the polls to let their voices be heard about the creation of the Jefferson Valley Rural Ambulance District.

The Jefferson County Commissioners will make the decision whether or not to put it on the ballot at their May 30 meeting in Boulder.

In the past few months, there has certainly been a lot of debate about the possible district, and it has been a passionate issue among many local residents.

There has also been a lot of confusion about the protest forms sent out by Jefferson County and the reasoning why a form that is not returned would count as support of the creation of the possible district. While it certainly seems strange that not turning it in would count as support, this is the law of the state of Montana and had to be followed. Because there were over 50 percent of the forms not returned, those by law will be looked at as in support of the district, and therefore the Commissioners may very well decide to place the issue on the ballot. They could also chose not to, but that probably will not happen.

What is interesting is that of those returned, there more forms in opposition to the creation of the district. It’s hard to say what the people who didn’t return the forms were thinking, but that is a sign that if this goes to the ballot it could be very close.

Perhaps that is the best option at the moment. Let the residents who live in the district make the decision. That is the most democratic thing to do.

The people will make their voices heard, and pass or fail; residents in the proposed district will be able to move forward.



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