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appointed secretary treasurer and the council began routine municipal business.
One of the first acts of council was to ask for a reckoning of accounts with the old Municipality of Rhineland to get its share of funds." Another significant act included petitioning the government to transfer township 1 range 1 east from the Municipality of Montcalm to Douglas. This largely Mennonite township had been detached in 1881 and its residents were anxious to become a part of the Douglas Munic ipality. Council also petitioned the government to allow it to conduct business in German and to open a county court and registry office in the municipality. Transfer from Gebietsamt to Municipal council was smooth with a good deal of continuity. The municipal council in fact worked out a by-law to uphold the regulations of the Bergthaler Waisenamt.
This smooth transition did not occur in the Rhineland Municipality as the majority of Mennonite inhabitants there withdrew completely from municipal affairs. Instead municipal leadership fell to a small group of excommunicated Reinlaender Church members and the minor ity Bergthaler in the municipality.
The council members were elected by acclamation with Jarvis Mott, a Baptist from Ontario and one of the few non-Mennonites in the municipality, elected reeve. One of the councillors, Johann Dyck, was a member of the Reinlaender Church but withdrew from council imme diately after the church forbade any dealings with the council. Another council member, Jacob Giesbrecht, had also been a member of the Reinlaender Church but had been previously excommunicated. The rest of the council was made up of members of the Bergthaler group ..
An indication of the bad feelings between the municipal council occurred when the council initiated legal action against Johann Dyck, the retired councillor, to collect a fine of forty dollars. The Municipal Act of 1883 provided that any mayor, councillor, or reeve refusing to act after being elected was liable to a fine.
These strained relations adversely affected the ability of the Rhineland Municipality to carry out its business. In its first meeting, held in the home of David Reddekop in Schanzenfeld, the Municipality of Rhineland decided to write the Reinlaender Gebietsamt and Issak Mueller to tell them that the government would not recognize the council formed by them and that they should submit a statement of taxes levied and paid during the previous four years. 64 Mueller, on the other hand, had gone to Winnipeg and received legal advice from the Deputy Provincial Treasurer, that he needn't turn over any books to the new council until a proper assessment had been made."