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the Reinlaender Gebietsamt, required that his tenant promptly fulfill municipal tax and road requirements .11 The municipal council, for its part, was not anti-clerical and exempted Mennonite clergymen from statutory labour and land taxes. 12
The R.M. of Douglas (1884-1890) on the other hand had no problems with legitimacy. The debate over Mennonite participation in municipal politics was not nearly as divisive. Some believed that if Mennonites became involved in government business they would be forced to serve in the next war, but the majority believed that the Mennonites should take care of themselves and run their own municipal affairs. This much greater willingness to accept municipal government in Douglas was no doubt facilitated by the fact that the Bergthaler Church in the area had no Gebietsamt or Colony apparatus comparable to the Reinlaender Church.
The attitude that there was no contradiction in being a Mennonite and becoming involved in municipal government even seems to have been accepted by some Reinlaender Church members living in Doug las. In the 1888 Douglas municipal election David Peters, a Reinlaender Church member, was elected reeve. This election occasioned a meeting of the Reinlaender Church leaders and Davd Peters. At this meeting Bishop Johann Wiebe admonished Peters for accepting the nomination and advised him to resign as reeve. Peters, while wishing to remain a member of the church, claimed it was his duty to serve and said that he believed the Bible said nothing against serving on council. Serving as reeve of the municipality, he claimed, had nothing to do with police or magistrate powers." Refusing to step down, Peters was excommuni cated in January of 1888.
An issue that took up much more of the council's time was the dispute over township 1 range 1 east. When the R.M. of Douglas was formed in 1884, boundaries had been geometrically rather than socially consistent. Township 1 range 1 east, while part of the Mennonite West Reserve, was included in Montcalm Municipality in 1884. The resi dents of this largely Mennonite township immediately protested and asked to be attached to the R.M. of Douglas. Though initially unsuc cessful the residents created a fait accompli by paying their taxes to Douglas. This state of affairs was officially recognized in 1886 when a boundary revision joined the township to Douglas. 14
The question of compensation to Montcalm, however, was not worked out until the late 1890's. Douglas, later Rhineland, was even tually ordered to pay back to Montcalm $39,000 for taxes levied unlawfully, and for the township's portion of Montcalm's debenture debts ,IS