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Half the Story
I’m glad the Times is continuing coverage of the Lakes Area Business Association and residents’ lawsuit filed against the City of Forest Lake and its Economic Development Agency. Clint Riese from the Times was at the appellate court hearing on Nov. 13, as was I, and heard the presentation to the court firsthand.
The article stated that the city was granted summary judgment by the district court in March, which is correct. However, this was only half the judgment issued. The other half was the court refusing to grant the city’s demand for us to post a $700,000 bond so our suit could proceed.
This was quite important because previous challenges to the practice of bypassing the referendum statute by others have not been permitted to be heard because of unreasonable bond demands. Therefore, it is likely this is the first time the matter is being litigated.
The ramifications of the ultimate decision, most likely by the state Supreme Court, are very significant for every taxpayer and city in the state. It will determine if a referendum must be held before public buildings like city halls, fire and police stations, and school facilities anywhere in the state can have bonds issued.
Upholding the referendum statute will ensure that the voters can decide if this is the way they want their taxes spent. This is as it should be. If we lose, it is doubtful that any referendums would be held in the future.
How much do you trust your government?
Treasurer, Lakes Area Business Association