UPDATE: City Denies Petition Proposal; Men Plan to Re-write, Submit Again

Heidi Harris
Staff Writer

Valley City Auditor Avis Richter has denied the petition calling for the initiation of an ordinance to disband the Valley City Police Department and outsource law enforcement responsibility for the city to the Barnes County Sheriff's Department.

A press release from the city says, "After exhaustive legal research with city staff, the city auditor has determined to reject the proposed petition to initiate ordinance."

The release came with a letter to the petition sponsors, Bob Drake, Tony Drake and Lloyd Nelson, listing several reasons the petition was not approved.

In addition to spelling errors and legal issues, Richter notes that Valley City cannot require the Barnes County Sheriff or Barnes County Commission to accept the petition.

"It is not clear from the submitted petition what would occur in the event that either the Barnes County Sheriff or Barnes County Commission refused to accept law enforcement responsibilities inside the City of Valley City," Richter writes.

She also mentions that some language in the petition is not clear.

The petitioners can, if they choose to, rewrite the document to conform to all legal requirements and clarifications listed in the letter.

UPDATE: Tony told the Times-Record that petition sponsors plan to rewrite and submit the petition again in a few days.

"We are working on it right now," he said Tuesday afternoon.