At our recent Budget Committee the Board got into the weeds about how to save money next school year. One suggestion was to save $50,000 every other year (half a teacher) by holding our elections when the City Council races are held. For those who want the Red Plan to be forgotten that would be a great way to have it disappear into the maw of other pressing City Business.
One more way we could save even more money, perhaps a million dollars (ten teachers), would be to drop the legal persecution of Art Johnston.
When I traveled down to St. Paul to lobby the legislature he told me his attorney had sent a letter to our District outlining the same sorts of things our attorney Kevin Rupp laid out for our school board. (You may recall that I was censured in part because I gave this “confidential” legal analysis to the press) Since then the District sent the Board members the letter from Art’s attorney.
I may risk Censure by mentioning the name of a Minnesota case in which the Supreme Court ruled in favor of a candidate for public office. That case was Republican Party of Minnesota v White. The losing parties in that case were forced to pay out $1.37 million. Of course, we have insurance to pay all but a deductible of that expense. But only for Art’s attorney’s billing not for “OUR” attorney’s billing.
I will also give you the quote of the US Supreme Court which is found in the letter from Art’s attorneys. It comes from a fifty year old case Bond v. Floyd: “The manifest function of the First Amendment in a representative government requires that legislators be given the widest latitude to express their views on issues of policy.” His attorneys point out that our Board’s resolution of removal “blatantly disregards this basic principle.”
I think the public ought to get a look at the game our School Board is playing and the letter from Art’s attorneys.
Chair Seliga-Punyko was grateful to read attorney Anderson’s scolding message to Art Johnston. She wrote to the board:
Mr. Hanson –
Thank you so much for getting back to the board with the requested information in such a timely manner. I appreciate the response from our very experienced attorney and your role in securing that information. We appreciate all you do.
A reminder to all board members to heed the advice of OUR attorney.
“OUR attorney” indeed! If you are a voter he sure ain’t yours.