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Tetonia Voters Intervene in Referendum Challenge

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

September 28, 2010


Contact: 

Chris Lundberg, Communications & Education Associate

chris@tetonvalleyadvocates.org

(208) 354-1707

 Tetonia Voters Intervene in Referendum Challenge

(Driggs. ID)— On August 17th, 2010 the Richard A. Egbert Limited Partnership filed a Complaint for Declaratory Judgment against the City of Tetonia, asking for the District Court to overturn the May 25th, 2010 referendum election held in the City of Tetonia.  That referendum, which passed 56 to 31, repealed the controversial annexation of roughly 267 acres of farmland and wetlands located to the south of town. 

On Tuesday, September 28th, 2010, Anna Trentadue, staff attorney and Program Director for Valley Advocates for Responsible Development (VARD) and David Axelrod, Board President of VARD filed a motion to intervene in that lawsuit on behalf of the voters of the City of Tetonia.  Trentadue and Axelrod are representing four citizens of Tetonia who participated in the Tetonia hearings, petitioned the city for a referendum election, and then voted in the May 25th election. 

Trentadue stated that her clients were driven to intervene in the lawsuit in order to preserve their constitutional right to exercise the referendum power.  “The core question in this case is whether the people of Tetonia had a statutory right stemming from the Idaho Constitution to vote on the referendum in the first place, regardless of the vote’s result.” The potential for this case to disenfranchise all Tetonia voters has led Trentadue and Axelrod to offer their legal services free of charge to their clients. 

“We agree with Tetonia City Attorney Bart Birch that the citizens of Tetonia are necessary parties to the lawsuit and deserve to have their day in court, “ says Sandy Mason, Executive Director of VARD. 

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