Mac Haik ends objection to G’stadt incorporation
Mac Haik has withdrawn opposition to the Gluckstadt incorporation and Canton annexation attempts scheduled for trial next month.
Chancery Judge James Walker signed orders last week granting Haik's motion to withdraw objections to both the incorporation and annexation. Haik owns two new car dealerships built recently on land in the proposed incorporation and annexation zones.
In late-October 2018, Haik filed a motion asking Judge Walker to order incorporators to work their differences in mediation, something that was denied in December 2018.
The trial is scheduled to begin Feb. 4 and the courtroom is booked for the entire month for the hearings. The incorporation effort has been consolidated with an annexation attempt by the city of Canton, wherein two of six proposed annexation areas overlap. One area in question contains the two automobile dealerships owned and operated by Haik.
Kerry Minninger, a Gluckstadt resident and incorporation proponent, sat down with Haik prior to his decision and released the following letter with Haik's blessing:
"I recently had the opportunity to meet with Mr. Mac Haik who is the owner of the new Chrysler, Dodge Jeep Ram and Chevrolet Dealership located on Autobahn Loop in Gluckstadt.
"As many of you know, Mr. Haik, the City of Canton, and the Citizens for the Incorporation of Gluckstadt have been in a legal dispute over a number of months regarding the incorporation of Gluckstadt and the annexation of property by the City of Canton. Included in these areas is property owned by Mr. Haik.
"I was pleased to have the opportunity to meet with Mr. Haik and discuss the purpose behind the Citizens of Gluckstadt desire to incorporate Gluckstadt. I must say I found Mr. Haik to be very interested in what I had to say about Gluckstadt. I found him to be straight forward, a good listener, and a very professional businessman. During our conversation I learned about his companies and some of his views about business development. It was my impression that he has a desire to have a positive influence on the communities that he does business in.
"Haik had the opportunity to explain his position and why he filed opposition to the incorporation of Gluckstadt. During our conversation, Mr. Haik stated he had been unaware of our incorporation effort when he purchased the property and had filed his opposition to the annexation and incorporation on advice of his legal counsel. He told me he felt that he needed to protect his interests because he did not know how the incorporation would affect his business. This afforded me the opportunity to see his position and why he thought he needed to take the action he did.
"After the filing of his opposition, Mr. Haik said he suddenly found himself in the middle of a dispute between the Citizens of Gluckstadt and the City of Canton. He said he felt he needed to take action to protect his companies. Mr. Haik expressed to me that he exercised his right to protect his companies which he believed he was forced to do, due to his perception of legal time constraints. He said he did not do so to hurt, or show disrespect to Gluckstadt or Canton.
"Mr. Haik expressed to me during our conversation that upon legal advice his stance was that he already had all of the services he needed, so incorporation or annexation would only cause him additional expense. I had the opportunity to discuss the need for expanded and municipal- level services as the area continues to grow. I explained to him we have already seen a dramatic rise in fire and medical aid calls for the fire department and the number of calls for police assistance by the Sheriff's Office has also increased with the population growth in the area. I also explained our stance on the need for and the importance of local building and zoning control.
"Mr. Haik owns an extremely large conglomerate of companies and expressed to me that he has never been involved in a dispute of any manner with other municipalities.
"I explained, in detail, the extensive historical background of Gluckstadt. Mr. Haik was very attentive and asked insightful questions. I believe I was able to present information to Mr. Haik that he was unaware of prior to our meeting.
"We also had the opportunity to discuss comments that had been made on social media and in the press. He stated that he never responded personally to any of the comments that were made even though he felt some were partially or totally incorrect from his point of view.
"I was very appreciative of Mr. Haik's time and willingness to discuss this matter. I wish the opportunity to meet with Mr. Haik had presented itself earlier and allowed for the open conversation he and I enjoyed. I believe there was a lack of understanding between the concerned parties. I asked Mr. Haik to reflect on our conversation and that I truly hoped he would consider removing his opposition to our incorporation effort.
"Mr. Haik called me a couple days ago. We are pleased to announce that Mr. Haik has made the decision to voluntarily remove his companies from the legal proceedings and debate concerning the efforts of the citizens to incorporate the future City of Gluckstadt. We appreciate Mr. Haik's decision to withdraw his opposition, and we look forward to maintaining a healthy relationship with him and his businesses in the coming years as Glucksatdt continues to grow in the future.
"I want to personally thank Mr. Haik for his willingness to meet with me and I know the people of Glucksatdt would do the same.
"I appreciate his gentlemanly approach to this situation and we look forward to his companies being actively involved in our community."