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Councilman vows to take case against Prairie Village to Supreme Court — but backs off promise to reimburse legal fees
Prairie Village city councilman David Morrison told PVPost.com the day he and the city faced off in court in September that should the appellate court rule against him, he’d reimburse the city for all the legal fees it incurred defending Morrison’s challenge.
The judge rendered a decision against Morrison last week. Prairie Village’s legal costs in the case now total $11,058. And Morrison has changed his tune.
Instead of accepting the court’s decision and figuring out how to pay the city’s legal bill, he’s preparing to submit an appeal to the Kansas Supreme Court. And paying those legal costs?
“I go back and forth on that now,” he said. “It depends on what day you ask me.”
Morrison says he feels strongly he has a duty to continue fighting in the case, which involved a petition he circulated in 2008. The city council passed an ordinance allowing the city to fund parks projects with bond money. Morrison’s petition attempted to delay enactment of the ordinance and put the issue before city voters. But the city challenged the petition on the basis that Morrison hadn’t strictly followed proper procedure, and the district court ruled in the city’s favor.
Despite the fact that the appeals court agreed with the original ruling, Morrison intends to continue to pursue the challenge — and rack up more legal fees for both himself and the city.
“Our contention is that everybody knew what they were signing and the meat and potatoes was there,” he said. “I’m getting upset that [the city] is continuing to spend taxpayer money to prevent the public from having a say in how their taxpayer money is spent.”
To be sure, though, should Morrison file another appeal and attempt to take the issue to the state Supreme Court, it would guarantee that more taxpayer money is spent on legal fees — an issue that doesn’t seem to dissuade Morrison, who is generally an outspoken opponent of almost any use of taxpayer funds.
“My feeling is the city could end this at any time by just accepting the petition,” Morrison said. “They wouldn’t spend any taxpayer money then.”
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