Gathered in front of the county courthouse Tuesday afternoon, nearly 70 Missoulians sang, spoke and chanted in support of the city's effort.
City Councilman Jason Wiener was quite clear about where he stood on the issue.
Community organizers and a University of Montana environmental studies professor also spoke in support of the city’s lawsuit.
Councilman Bryan von Lossberg, a long-time critic of The Carlyle Group’s ownership, said it’s a mistake to simply boil down the issue to big, out-of-state companies looking to exploit lowly Missoulians for cash. He says there’s nothing wrong with making a profit, but its cheaper in the long run for Missoula to own its water than The Carlyle Group.
Von Lossberg says Missoula’s World War II-era water system desperately needs an upgrade. And Missoulians, who drink the water, or more motivated to make those investments than an outside, for-profit company.
The city has spent nearly $2 million since it sued The Carlyle Group back in April 2014. The trial is expected to last until April 2.