Vote yes on measure one
On June 14 a YES vote on Measure 1 would correct the wrong that was done and insure that it will not happen again unless by a vote of the people.
For me it started in 2014 when I sold 15 acres to a young couple that had to move out of the flood plain. I did not realize until later that the county took almost 2 acres from the property. It was called Dedicate and Donate which means that we paid real estate taxes to Ward county all the years we owned it but when we sold it we found out from the new owners that they only owned 13.3 acres. There was no notice given to them or us from Ward county. It turned out that several people on the Ward County Farm Bureau board and the Ward County Farmer’s Union board had had this happen to them without the knowledge that their property had been taken.
With many appeals to the Ward County Commission and the Zoning board asking to correct the policy, nothing changed. A lawsuit filed by Ward County Farm Bureau and Ward County Farmers Union yielded a Federal Judge’s opinion that stated the Ward County policy infringes on our constitutional right to have property taken without compensation. Ward County’s justification for the taking of private property was to provide for safe roads. The state of North Dakota has safe roads and the state does compensate landowners for road construction. Most federal and state grants for road construction provide for funding for land acquisition for affected landowners.
This money should go to affected landowners not kept by county. After 8 years of discussion and a change of commissioners on the Ward County Commission this issue now says you can do an out lot without the Dedication and Donate policy. It is also on record that, if you had property taken, you can apply to get it back.
You ask the question “Why do we need to vote on this issue?” There are still people who believe that any county has the right to take your property without your knowledge, permission, or your right to just compensation. Property rights should not be taken for granted so please ask candidates running for positions on the Ward County Commission regarding their position on property rights.
This is why a Yes vote on Measure One is so important on June 14th. A yes vote on Measure One will place language in Ward County’s Home Rule Charter which will ensure that a future board member change on the Ward County Commission will not be able to re-enact the unconstitutional policy without a vote of the people from Ward County.