Contact: Kelly Gallaher
“Jurisdictional offers to take property and remove owners in Foxconn area were signed and filed by hired contractors – official legal actions never discussed with Village Trustees.”
MT. PLEASANT, WI OCTOBER 8, 2018 – On September 24, 2018, Mt. Pleasant village trustees voted to approve the Award of Damages on nine parcels of land representing $4,287,300 which resulted from Jurisdictional Offers signed and filed by contractors with the county clerk on behalf of the village without trustee knowledge or approval.
Five parcels on the agenda, representing $1,309,900 in damages, were the subject of current litigation and a pending restraining order by one family to block an order to vacate their home and business within days.
“Trustees heard from angry residents demanding to know why the village was taking their land and ordering them out of their home,” says Kelly Gallaher, a spokesperson for the local grassroots organization, A Better Mt. Pleasant. “The trustees didn’t seem to understand what was happening or even the meaning of the words being used. As it turns out, the orders had already been filed at the courthouse and never discussed or approved by them prior to that night. This was literally the first time they heard about it.”
Two Jurisdictional Offers were signed and filed in late July by Peter Meisbauer of G.J. Meisbauer, hired by the village to provide relocation services. Meisbauer represented himself in the documents as an “agent for the Village of Mt. Pleasant.” A third Jurisdictional Offer was signed and filed in September by Scott Dellenbach of Terra Ventures, hired by the village to provide property management. Dellenbach represented himself in the document as a “Village of Mt. Pleasant Real Estate Consultant.”
Jurisdictional Offers are the legal filings by a condemning authority which officially notify the occupant of the taking of their property for public use and date of expected occupancy when eminent domain negotiations fail.
“This is an official legal action taken against property owners,” says Gallaher. “These actions are taking place without the knowledge or approval of village trustees. It’s not clear these contractors have the authority to take these actions, but even if they do, why has it not been discussed with village officials?”
A Mt. Pleasant village trustee verified to A Better Mt. Pleasant on Friday, the Jurisdictional Offers which resulted in the Award of Damages voted on by trustees, were never discussed or approved with the Village Board prior to that date.
“What is the point of having elected officials at all? Residents came forward to appeal these actions directly to their local representatives, only to discover they were clueless,” says Gallaher. “Village trustees are required to approve all kinds of purchases and agreements – big and small. Actions to take property valued in the millions of dollars, and to remove people from their homes, seems like something trustees should know about. It makes us wonder exactly who is running this village?”