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New judge assigned in Williamstown case

November 19, 2018

A new judge has been assigned in an appeal brought by the city of Mayville.

The city is appealing the decision by the state’s Department of Administration to allow the village of Kekoskee to dissolve into the town of Williamstown and create a new, incorporated village of Williamstown. The city requested that the original judge, Steven Bauer, be substituted. Joseph Sciascia is now assigned to the case.

Meanwhile, the city also filed a motion to stay the state’s decision while the matter is legally resolved, and offered to continue offering emergency services until that happens. The Common Council previously voted to stop providing EMS services should the merger have gone through. The state’s decision is already making an impact: Dodge County counted the village and the town’s votes together in the 2018 midterm election.

Sciascia will oversee a status conference next Monday as the new judge in the case.

Mayville officials opposed the merger and the city filed the appeal to request that the decision be reversed or that the legal requirements for the boundary changes be found to not have been met.

The state’s response to Mayville’s suit says the law speaks for itself, and that Mayville does not have the standing to bring the case in the first place. The state is asking that the appeal be denied and the Williamstown decision remain intact.

To address the concern over Mayville’s growth, the state accepted Kekoskee and Williamstown’s idea of a “city growth area” surrounding Mayviile, where the village of Williamstown would not stand in the way of property owners detaching into the city, as long as a majority of owners in three-fourths of the territory agree. In the appeal, Mayville says the plan still violates its right to annex land around its borders, a simpler process.

The city also took issue with its place in the review process and claims there should have been multiple public hearings. The state denies Mayville’s claims and says the department applied the law correctly while the city’s appeal wrongly interprets the law.The city is also suing an administrator in the Department of Administration, Dawn Vick, claiming that she improperly stood in the way of Mayville annexing land during the boundary review process. The city is also the plaintiff in a lawsuit over a landfill that is due to be expanded.

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