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Sherri Richards, Published November 06 2012

Richland says 'yes,' but Cass says'no' on township county change

FARGO – While Richland County voters would have welcomed the seceding rural township, Cass County voters on Tuesday defeated an initiated ballot measure allowing Pleasant Township to change counties.

In complete but unofficial results, 63 percent of Cass County voters opposed the measure; 23,199 voted for it while 39,901 voted against.

Conversely, in Richland County, 69 percent of voters approved the transfer of Pleasant Township from Cass to Richland. In complete but unofficial results, 4,754 voted yes while 2,169 voted no.

The measure needed a simple majority in both counties to pass.

Pleasant Township is located in the southeast corner of Cass County, and includes the city of Oxbow as well as portions of Horace and Fargo.

Its population in 2010 was 468 people, according to census figures.

Proponents of the measure say they haven’t felt fairly represented by the Cass County Commission in matters relating to the F-M diversion project.

Pleasant Township resident Greg Hanson collected signatures to get the measure on the ballot. He said he and his neighbors have been ignored by Cass County commissioners.

Looking at individual precinct results in Cass County, the measure gained approval at many rural voting sites, including Tower City, Hickson, Davenport, Kindred and Northern Cass.

Incumbent Commissioner Ken Pawluk has said the issue isn’t representation but the decisions that were made regarding flood protection.

Pawluk said voters made an informed decision. He said Pleasant Township is “very important to Cass County.”

“We will continue to see that their needs are met with respect to the county services and county activities,” he said.