Business appeals Gluckstadt’s incorporation rulingBy NIKKI ROWELL,
After more than 10 years of work and a ruling granting the incorporation of Gluckstadt, a local business owner has stepped forward to file an appeal and further delay the area from becoming a city.
The appeal process could take one to two years to complete, Gluckstadt attorney John Scanlon said.
Ron Hutchinson, owner of Mississippi Tent, is appealing the court’s decision, much to the disappointment of Gluckstadt residents.
According to Hutchinson’s attorney Sheldon Alston, Hutchinson has “several projects that are shovel-ready” and he has concerns that Gluckstadt does not have the structure in place to continue moving forward on the projects.
“He wants to develop his property in a responsible way, and he does not feel that Gluckstadt has the structure to handle the request that he has on the table right now,” Alston said.
“The City of Canton has not filed an appeal, and I applaud its leaders for seeing the wisdom of the court’s ruling,” appointed Gluckstadt Mayor Walter Morrison said. “But a single commercial property owner…has just filed an appeal against the Gluckstadt incorporators. Why? It is because he is motivated by his own, greedy self-interests.
“So, once again, a single commercial interest is attempting to thwart the wishes of thousands of people who have fought long and hard to incorporate Gluckstadt,” Morrison said.
If the appeal were to be carried out as far as it can, Gluckstadt would not be able to start becoming a city until the process has concluded, which could take one to two years.
If the appeal had not been filed, Gluckstadt could be seeking a charter to be issued by the Secretary of State within weeks.
“Because of the appeal, they won’t be able to begin that process until the appeal process is complete, and the appeal process takes time,” Scanlon said.
The 10-day window for appeals following the judge’s final decree closed April 22, with Hutchinson being the only one to file an appeal.
“The people of Gluckstadt wish to move forward with their new city as quickly as possible,” Scanlon said. “I remain hopeful that resolution may help us start the city sooner rather than later.”
Scanlon said he believed the court’s judgement for the incorporation case to be sound and well-reasoned. He added that the amount of information from both trials could make this a complex appeal process as they once again sort through everything.
Alston said that Hutchinson’s concerns and reason for appealing are valid.
Judge James Walker gave his ruling earlier this month granting Gluckstadt to incorporate within the proposed boundaries, excluding a portion north of Stout Road.
Hutchinson did not voice his concerns throughout the incorporation trial. When asked why he came forward now, Hutchinson’s attorney, Alston, had no answer other than that the window for appeals was closing.
The incorporation effort has been going on for a number of years. According to Scanlon, the effort that eventually led to the incorporation of Gluckstadt began around 2015.
However, Gluckstadt residents have been working toward this goal for more than 10 years.