Gladstone asks for dismissal of case against cityThe city of Gladstone asked a Southwest District Court judge Monday during a pretrial conference at the Stark County Courthouse to consider dismissing a case against the city that alleges the misplacement of candidate names and the measure to dissolve the park board that were on the June 12 ballot.
By: Betsy Simon, The Dickinson Press
The city of Gladstone asked a Southwest District Court judge Monday during a pretrial conference at the Stark County Courthouse to consider dismissing a case against the city that alleges the misplacement of candidate names and the measure to dissolve the park board that were on the June 12 ballot.
The park district’s attorney, William Delmore, will have 30 days to respond to Gladstone city attorney Mary Nordsven’s motion to dismiss the case, which was filed Feb. 4.
In the complaint by the non-city recognized park board, the board alleged that the city failed to correctly follow procedures placing candidates and a ballot measure to dissolve the park board on the ballot in June because placement on the ballot did not conform to statutory requirements.
According to the motion Nordsven filed in Southwest District Court, when Gladstone’s city auditor placed the city council candidate’s names on the ballot, but she did not give advanced notice of the drawing of names and the drawing for placement on the ballot was not done in the time period the law requires.
When the auditor informed the candidates of how the drawing was conducted, the candidates had no complaints, according to the motion.
The motion also states the city auditor received a petition that was neither circulated nor drafted by the city to have the question of the park district’s dissolution placed on the ballot. The auditor verified the petition and placed it on the ballot but it was denied by the voters in the election, according to the motion.
“What (the park board) argues is that the city auditor’s placement of names on the ballot was not done by procedure and that’s irrelevant,” Nordsven said.
William Delmore, a Bismarck attorney representing the park board, said he felt that the issue could be resolved and this case could be dismissed. If it is not, the trial will need to be rescheduled.
“The real action that needs to be determined is which park board is the right one and were the oaths administered properly,” he said.
There are two other separate lawsuits involving the park board that would still be pending if the city’s motion is approved, including a lawsuit between the two park boards in Gladstone and the city’s lawsuit against the both of the park boards, requiring which ever board is deemed to be the legitimate board to comply with city ordinances, including zoning ordinances that state that the park is not for long-term living.
In November, the water was turned off at Prairie Rose Park.
Then, the city-recognized park board notified the campers that barriers were going up around the campground Dec. 14 and the campers needed to vacate the premise.