Dam Breaching Fails to Make Ballotby Staff
Spokesman Review, April 8, 2000
Lewiston, Idaho - An advisory question on breaching lower Snake River dams to aid salmon migration will not appear on the Nez Perce County primary ballot.
The county commissioners' role is to establish good public policy and using the May 23 ballot for an opinion poll is not good policy, County Commission Chairman J.R. Van Tassel said Thursday.
Commissioner James Soyk declined to make a motion supporting the advisory ballot, so it died there.
Gayle McGarry, Nez Perce County Democratic Party chairman and a candidate for the legislative seat held by Republican Rep. Dan Mader, asked that breaching be put on the ballot, saying it would give people a chance to say what they really think, free of pressure from opponents preaching that breaching is not feasible.
Putting breaching on the ballot would cost far more than the county's $500 out-of-pocket expense, Port of Lewiston Commissioner Dale Alldredge said. He estimated interests on both sides of the issue would spend at least $25,000 trying to rally supporters.
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