Newspaper Article Archive of
The Kalona News
Kalona, Iowa
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Newspaper Article Archive of
The Kalona News

June 29, 2017 Court hears arguments, motion to dismiss in Washington County road closing dispute
Article Pages -- as published on the The Kalona News website.

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ARTICLE DESCRIPTION:

A decision regarding Washington County’s pre-answer motion to dismiss a petition for Writ of Certiorari filed by Friends of Bunker MiIl Bridge (FBMB) likely will not come until next month. The case went before Washington County District Judge Lucy Gammon Friday, June 23, in Washington . After hearing arguments regarding the legal basis for the county’s closing of a segment of Nutmeg Avenue, Gammon said she would have a written decision “later.”

In seeking the writ, FBMB alleged the supervisors’ action in closing the section April 4 by a 3-2 vote was “illegal,” “not supported by substantial evidence and is arbitrary, capricious and unreasonable.” FBMB filed the petition May 4 seeking to have the district court review and nullify the board’s resolution on the closing.

County Attorney John Gish, representing the board, May 12 filed the motion to dismiss the petition “in its entirety for failure to state a claim upon which relief can be granted,” adding “because there is no basis in law for this action, Plaintiff should pay all court costs” in the case.”

Friday’s approximate 30-minute hearing centered on the legality of the board’s decision, with FBMB contending it is a judicial move and therefore subject to judicial review via the Writ of Certiorari.

The county’s argument is that the closing was a legislative function, permitted by law, for which the ultimate remedy is the ballot box, such as voting to change board members. (That happened several years ago when county zoning and membership in the Regional Utility Services Systems became a major election issue that saw three incumbents defeated.)

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