Williams: I'd do it again


County Commissioner Dale Williams said if he had to, he'd take his now infamous "wild ride" all over again.

Williams restated his stance while speaking to the Columbia Falls Chamber of Commerce Tuesday.

Williams said the state investigator asked him "If you had to do it all over again, would you do it?'"

"Damn right I would have," Williams said he told the investigator.

Last month Williams was charged with one count of unlawful restraint and two counts of assault, all misdemeanors after taking Montana state Department of Transportation traffic engineer Darin Kaufman on an allegedly high speed ride on secondary roads in the county on Dec. 9.

Williams said he did it to prove a point on how the state's new speed limits were ridiculously high on roads such as Big Mountain Road and Whitefish Stage Road.

Williams said he would do it again because he couldn't bear the thought of having done nothing to get the state to change its position on speed limits, which he said were too high and dangerous for the roads in question.

Williams said he couldn't bear the thought of looking at accident victims who would say he did nothing to have the speed limits lowered.

To that end, he said the county has had success with the state in having the speed limits which are currently posted remain intact.

He said the state recently changed some wording that would allow limits that were posted prior to May 28, 1999 to remain until a traffic study of the road could be completed.

The wording change still needs to be approved by MDT, but Williams said he thought it was "virtually a done deal."

In other road related news Williams said he was confident that the paving of the North Fork Road was going to be completed, though it could take some time.

Williams did admit he too was concerned about wintering populations of deer in the Big Creek area and the impact that paving could have on them.

The deer cross the road frequently to drink from the North Fork of the Flathead and he said designers were looking at ways to address the problem.