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Emily City Council: Sutton's take case to District Court

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Brainerd Dispatch
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Brainerd MN 506 James St. / PO Box 974 56401

Heeding the advice of the Emily City Council — that the matter regarding whether council member Jan Mosman is a resident of Emily or not was better suited for a higher court system and not the city council members — Donna and Mark Sutton are taking their case to district court.

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“We are following the advice and the request of the Emily City Council and are filing with the district court to determine Jan Mosman’s residency,” the Suttons said in an email.

Emily City Council decided that yes, Mosman was a resident of the city and thus able to serve on the council during Tuesday’s meeting.

An ongoing issue since the March 12 Emily City Council meeting, the Suttons have remained firm in suggesting that council member Mosman is not a resident of Emily but instead claims residency in Eden Prairie. With the claims, a request was made for Mosman’s removal as an Emily City Council member.

Mosman previously said she has important reasons to go to the Twin Cities often but they are personal. Addressing the issue after Sutton raised it at the March 12 meeting, Mosman said she moved to Emily and spends more time there than anywhere else but also has a home on two acres in Eden Prairie. Mosman noted the tough housing market and said one homestead was enough.

Council members sided with the fact that Mosman “has not ceased to be a resident of Emily” and came to the conclusion that they were not comfortable with declaring her spot as a council member vacant during Tuesday night’s meeting.

During discussion, many council members also felt that the situation should be better handled by the state in setting forth guidelines on a person’s residency and ability to run for city government.

“They (the state) have no guidelines on who can run for public office and the only thing that I’ve seen is if the person running for office is a resident of thirty days prior to election,” council member Gary Hanson said. “Well I don’t know if she (Mosman) was here 30 days prior and when it comes down to it the decision comes back to us the council and I think that it’s wrong that they’ve done this and put us in this position.”

The Suttons’ attorney through this entire process, Mark Severson, said in an email: “The Suttons and other citizens of Emily are considering taking this matter to the District Court. The process would begin with the filing of a summons and complaint in Crow Wing County District Court, which would then begin the discovery period where we could request documents, ask interrogatories and depose Jan Mosman, among others.  

“While there is a strong contingency in Emily that has already expressed a desire to take that route, we are in the process of deciding what to do and how to do it. I believe the city council simply chose to punt this issue to the district court.”

JESSI PIERCE may be reached at 855-5859 or jessi.pierce@brainerddispatch.com. Follow her on Twitter at www.twitter.com/jessi_pierce (@jessi_pierce).

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