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WDAY: The News Leader

Published November 18, 2012, 08:34 PM

Mayor of Michigan, ND resigns after a water bill dispute

Michigan, ND (WDAY TV) -- There's still some tension in Michigan, North Dakota, after the mayor resigned after a water billing issue.

By: David Schwab, WDAZ, WDAY

Michigan, ND (WDAY TV) -- There's still some tension in Michigan, North Dakota, after the mayor resigned after a water billing issue.

A woman complained that she was charged too much, and now a third party is involved to help solve the problem.

Bernie Linstad/Former Mayor of Michigan: "This is harassment, this is bullying, and it will stop. "

This is the Mayor of Michigan, Bernie Linstad resigning this month after dealing with an escalated issue stemming from an accidental over-charge on water bills.

Valerie Larson: "I'm just the little old lady in Michigan, North Dakota looking for some answers."

Valerie Larson had a run in with the mayor while trying to access city billing records. Mayor Linstad says she had a right to them.. just didn't like the way she went about it.

Scott Gilbertson: "They clash, that's kind of what happened you know."

Acting Mayor Scott Gilbertson says the city was in the process of changing water bills from quarterly to monthly, when bills spiked for one month to make the adjustment. That is what got Larson's attention.

Valerie Larson: "Two cents or two thousand dollars, I would have done exactly what I did."

A third party was brought in to get to to the bottom of the issue. There was an over-charge.. but it ended up being closer to the two cents.

Mike Blessum/Tri County Water: "So there was a difference of approximately 50 cents."

Larson still considers that a victory.

Valerie Larson: "You can fight city hall and win."

Scott Gilbertson: "We could of let people know when this change was going to take effect, when their bill was going to be a little higher, and that was just an oversight on our part."

Larson says she never bullied or harassed anyone.. She was just asking the city to do their job.

Valerie Larson: "If you can't stand the heat, you got to get out of the kitchen."

A new Michigan mayor will be elected in March.

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