A pair of opponents who represented themselves say they were at a disadvantage from the start. The judge read a brief from one of the city's attorneys about an hour beforehand, but Barbara Davidson, who suffers from a respiratory condition, had even less time to prepare.
"Unfortunately, we did not have the legal means available to look up the different laws and cases and things to appropriately respond."
But the quick turnaround of the restraining order left city lawyers just 48 hours to draft the document in the first place.
"That's why my brief wasn't available until early this morning-because i had to get up to speed on what the issues were," said Julie Anderl, the city's attorney.
Davidson and City Council member Don Cooper had collected nearly 700 signatures in an effort to hold off hiring an administrator for two years.
They filed the petition in January. Too late, according to the judge.
"This is just one step in a process-it's not a final decision," Anderl said.
"I'm very dissapointed and I don't know where we'll go from here," Davidson said.
Chippewa Falls Mayor Doug Sandvick doesn't consider the ruling a win or a loss for the city. Current Council members and those on the next Council would ultimately be involved in hiring and implementing a city administrator, but the Mayor wouldn't say whether this Council will proceed on Monday, the next time they're scheduled to meet.