Annexation trial could go quicker without Haik’s oppositionBy NIKKI ROWELL,
As the trial date for the Gluckstadt incorporation and Canton annexation case approaches, Mac Haik has withdrawn his opposition.
Judge James Walker signed the motion to withdraw on Wednesday, January 3.
Gluckstadt attorney John Scanlon said this could help the trial move along quicker.
“You will have fewer parties, fewer attorneys asking questions in the courtroom,” Scanlon said. “However, an incorporation and annexation case will still need a court decision. We knew all along we would have to go the whole distance with this trial for the result.”
However, Scanlon said fewer parties involved could make for a simpler trial.
“I know the Gluckstadt incorporators are glad Mr. Haik has agreed to withdraw his opposition. They would invite and welcome his support,” Scanlon said.
The decision to withdraw was announced after a meeting with Kerry Minninger, a supporter of the incorporation of Gluckstadt.
“We had been putting a lot of stuff on social media about what was going on with the incorporation effort,” Minninger said. Following those posts, Haik’s general manager reached out to Minninger and helped get the two in contact with one another.
“We were able to sit down and talk, and we spent two and a half hours talking,” Minninger said. “I told him a bit about what our effort was all about, about the history of Gluckstadt. He was able to express his thoughts and concerns and why he filed in opposition.”
Minninger said he took the opportunity to tell Haik some things he was not aware of prior to our meeting.
“It gave him more to think about and consider,” Minninger said. “I hoped he would consider dropping the opposition. He called me a few days later and said he was willing to drop the opposition.”
“I was very pleased about the meeting. I feel that he will be a great corporate partner,” Minninger added.
Haik, the owner of an automobile dealership within the proposed boundaries of Gluckstadt, has fought to be carved out of both Canton’s proposed area of annexation and the proposed city of Gluckstadt in the past.
Haik’s lawyer Jim Herring filed a motion for court annexed mediation last month. Judge James Walker denied the petition to settle the case outside of the courtroom.
The trial is set to begin on February 4, roughly two years after the first petition was filed for incorporation.
From now until the trial both parties will continue with discovery and depositions.
Scanlon has said it is impossible to say how long the trial will go on.
Right now, four weeks have been scheduled for the trial. Scanlon said it is possible that it could go on longer or less than that amount of time.
The original petition for incorporation was filed on Feb. 1, 2017. The trial was originally scheduled for August 2018.
However, due to appeals, the trial date was rescheduled.
When the incorporation papers were filed, more than 73 percent of registered voters in the proposed city of Gluckstadt signed in support of the plan.
Mississippi law requires that 66 percent of registered voters in the area sign.
According to Scanlon, this trial will have to do with all other fact and legal issues involved in incorporating, such as police and fire protection.
If Gluckstadt is incorporated, Walter Morrison will serve as mayor, and aldermen will include Miya Bates, Krisstel Hunt, Jayce Powell, Stephen Snell and Lisa Williams. Chris Watson serves as City Planner.
The proposed city limits will include several Madison County subdivisions, such as Ridgefield, Arrington, Red Oak, Bear Creek, Germantown, Panther Creek and Bradshaw Ridge.
The area takes in approximately 11.1 square miles, according to previous Sun reports.