HORACE, N.D. — Martin Hochhalter moved from the bright lights of the metro to Horace for some country living, where it is usually more affordable. But he says that hasn't been the case.

"People are moving away from the taxes," he said referring to many old-time residents.

He says his taxes have doubled in the last seven years, and there are always new special assessments.

"They have no benefit to me or my property, they like to draw the box big around these new developments," he explained.

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He's one of the five recall-sponsoring committee members. The group recently got enough signatures for the recall election. It claims Schmidt and Fenelon do not represent the popular interests and opinions of residents.

"This was quite a surprise," said Schmidt.

"Very surprised it was brought forward," said Fenelon.

Both ran unopposed back in June. Opponents blame that on a lack of interest due to COVID-19. They also point to the fact 16% of the vote went to write-in candidates.

"Every decision we make there are always going to be some who disagree," said Schmidt.

Both men say they will fight to keep their seats. Both referred to this as just a distraction, one that they can overcome and continue to work in the best interest of the fast-growing community.

"We are looking at feedback from different individuals, and we are making the best decision at that time," said Fenelon.

"It's time to get some new voices and ideas, at least get people who listen," said Hochhalter.

The deadline to get a name on the special election ballot is Jan. 4. A date for the election has not yet been set.