The Bond has been returned

The One hundred thousand dollar bond required of the five plaintiffs in Welty et al by the Sixth District Court has finally been returned.

Everything about the bond has been a hassle from the start. There was a lot of doubt that the money could be raised. It was but that wasn’t good enough for the Defendants. They wanted the money turned over to a bond company rather than to have the Court hold the actual cash. When Judge Hylden ordered the return of the bond subsequent to the dismissal of the case he took a fair amount of time, requiring proof that the parties to the suit had agreed to a settlement and honored their agreement. Then the Bond Company questioned the Court Order. Finally, the bond company bureaucracy took its sweet time sending out checks. Despite a request to have a single check sent out to Let Duluth Vote five separate checks were returned to the five plaintiffs. All our checks were for $20,077.26 the $77.26 of which were interest earnings.

We’re endorsing them over to Let Duluth Vote’s treasurer who will then be able to return the lion’s share of the donations given by major contributors to the bond. After some expenses are deducted LDV should be able to return well over 90% of the donations.

For our trouble the five plaintiffs will get to pay taxes on our interest earnings.

If my calculations are correct we earned just under 1 percent interest per annum or about .4% in the six months the bond company backed the bond. The bond company charged us $1500 to back up the bond and no doubt earned considerably more earnings on the money than we were paid. Meanwhile they were at no risk since we gave them the full amount of the bond from the start. Ironically, it was only the Defendants who were put at risk with the possibility that the bond company could fail. This added layer of jurisprudential delay.

This hardly rates as an epilogue in the Red Plan controversy which continues on as two defeated Red Planners prepare to step down from the Duluth School Board. Its the holidays so my commentary has mostly been put on the shelf although the DNT occasionally has something worth pointing to.

The retiring Board members both patted themselves on the back like most defeated politicians. And this letter to the editor was a tough little reminder that political rhetoric is often just that – rhetoric.

A sample:

I’m tired of politicians saying one thing while campaigning and then doing 180-degree flip flops a few months later. I remember what Tim Grover said while running for School Board, and I still have his answers to election questions, as published in the News Tribune on Oct. 28, 2007.

“We also need to develop a less costly facilities plan and hold a referendum on it,” he responded. “The red plan would create an educational void for this area. I believe that Duluth’s geography virtually requires us to keep three high schools, which we have now and which work well. – I voted ‘no’ on the red plan because it is too costly and leaves the 3rd district with almost no schools (and no high school). I voted ‘yes’ to hold a referendum on the plan. Voters must have the opportunity to decide on such a major, comprehensive, long-term financial commitment.”

“Duluth needed a long-range facilities plan with major upgrades.” Grover wrote, “The red plan needs both revising and downsizing. We need an affordable plan that will be approved by the voters. This can be done!”

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