The city of Rock Hill has won the Great Water War of 2010 against the residents of Miller Pond neighborhood.
Great. Goliath, using a nuclear warhead, beat David, who didn't even have a slingshot.
It is unclear if Rock Hill will now try to annex the Town of Fort Mill or the state of Georgia, because like Miller Pond, Fort Mill and Georgia are close by but not touching the city limits.
Rock Hill gets what it wants, though, so if you live in Fort Mill, watch your back - and your back pocket.
We all owe Miller Pond residents a thank you, even if they were legally beaten. They stood up to the city that used, in the words of county and state politicians, "heavy-handed" ways to try to get what it wanted.
Some words were worse. "Vindictive" was one good word in the lawsuit Miller Pond used to describe the city. "Predatory" was another good one.
Maybe the laws governing annexation stink. Maybe not. The real issue here is the money the city wants, and the city's threat to cut off water service to hard-working people to get it.
Next thing you know, the city will threaten to cut off hospice service so the poor don't die in the street.
Wait. The state of South Carolina has already proposed that. The city of Rock Hill does keep good company when it comes to shamelessness.
Just a few days before Christmas, a judge ruled the city had every right to make the people of Miller Pond sign documents allowing the neighborhood to be annexed into the city, as the developer of Miller Pond had agreed 12 years ago when the city ran water service outside the city to Miller Pond.
The city had been providing water service to these people, at double to triple regular rates, for years. Now the city wanted to annex Miller Pond to get more money - taxes and garbage fees - to go with the extra water rates.
The Miller Pond people balked, and the city yelped: "Miller Pond - Drop Dead!"
The city threatened to cut off the water. The people of Miller Pond sued, after the city gained national media attention for all the wrong reasons. Some who were threatened were two Afghanistan and Iraq war veterans with small children, a pastor of a nearby church and a deacon/Little League coach.
"Let's say the city could have handled this better," said Todd Brinkley, the deacon from Westminster Presbyterian Church who coaches little kids in baseball. Not only that, Brinkley volunteers at a center that keeps people who are months behind on utility bills from being disconnected and left without heat in the middle of winter.
Or without water, when the city cuts them off.
If Brinkley were any more wholesome he would be standing next to Billy Graham - instead of George W. Bush - or guest hosting on the "700 Club." Instead, by questioning whether he had to sign annexation documents, by saying no to the city, Brinkley became an outlaw.
A rebel, in a sweater vest.
"And right now, because I pay the city each month already for water, an automatic deduction, they owe me about $6," Brinkley said. "They always owe me, every year."
The residents of Miller Pond sued and lost, but they tried. They fought.
"We gave it our best shot," Brinkley said. "If other places don't have to go through what we went through, it will be worth it."
How will the "black eye" that Brinkley said the city received from the public over how it handled Miller Pond be remembered? Everybody will say, "Yes, Rock Hill, that's the place where they wanted to cut off the water to people who had paid their bills, right?"
Maybe Brinkley will get a late Christmas card from the city with a tiny check in it. The check would be signed by Carey Smith, the former city manager who drew the line in the sand over water that garnered the city negative attention across the country for its ways that are normally made fun of - in Bulgaria.
The card will end with:
"Merry Christmas, Ebenezer Scrooge."
"P.S. You owe for garbage pickup. Don't make me shut off the water to get my money."