Gladstone vs. Gladstone: Park Board files lawsuit, election results questionedGladstone citizens decided to keep its Park Board during the primary election Tuesday, but a complaint filed against Gladstone on June 7 claims the measure shouldn’t have been on the ballot in the first place.
Gladstone citizens decided to keep its Park Board during the primary election Tuesday, but a complaint filed against Gladstone on June 7 claims the measure shouldn’t have been on the ballot in the first place.
Gladstone Measure No. 1 asked if the city should dissolve the board, which failed 36-38 despite having 43 signatures for the petition to get it on the ballot.
The Park Board is asking “for costs and disbursements” and that the results of the election be nullified.
Board member Lillian Bondell declined comment on the lawsuit, but said there were no plans to withdraw it, though the measure failed.
“It was the people’s choice,” board member Gwen Lantz said of the election results.
North Dakota law states 25 percent of the voters must sign the petition and the city must have a plan to dissolve the board. A plan was not incorporated into the petition, according to the document.
Notarized signatures also were not properly collected, according to the board. It also claims signatures were not certified by the city auditor.
The city published a plan to dissolve the board in the May 22 edition of The Dickinson Press if Measure 1 passed, City Auditor Maureen Roden said Wednesday. She added a citizen, Karen Terrill, collected the names, not the city, and everything was done with attorney supervision.
Roden had not read the complaint as of Wednesday, she said.
Terrill did not immediately return calls to The Press on Wednesday.
The complaint also states City Council members were not aware of the petition.
Mayor Kurt Martin previously told The Press that he knew about its circulation before it was placed on the ballot.
The affidavit also brings another election item into question. The city auditor must set up and alert the candidates of a time, date and location to conduct a drawing for the order of candidates on the ballot, according to North Dakota law.
The board claims that the candidates were not advised of the time and Roden conducted the drawing in her home “with a live-in companion as a witness,” according to the complaint.
Roden confirmed this and said she spoke with all the candidates about it, adding, “They were either OK with that or they lied that they were OK with that.”
Vicki Nogosek, whose name was last on the ballot in the Gladstone race, according to the Stark County Auditor’s Office, received 30.77 percent of the votes.
Incumbents Darcy Fossum and Erin McGahuey tied with 26.92 percent, forcing a recount. The two were in the first two spots on the ballot.
Arles Hecker, who grabbed 14.62 percent, was third on the ballot.
“It’s a good feeling to know that people think I’m worth voting for and supported me,” Nogosek said.
She felt if more people voted, the measure may have passed.
“I was kind of shocked in that too, thinking it was going to be dissolved,” she said. “Talking to other people and just hearsay and things, there was a lot of them that wanted to see that whole camp thing cleaned-up.”
A recount should be scheduled in four days, said Lee Ann Oliver, the election specialist for the Secretary of State’s Office in Bismarck.
Martin also declined comment, adding the council would discuss the matter with City Attorney Mary Nordsven of Dickinson. Nordsven did not immediately return calls to The Press on Wednesday.
The Park Board’s attorney, William Delmore of Mandan, was unavailable for comment.