RTR meeting rescheduled for Saturday

TYLER — A special Russell-Tyler-Ruthton School District board meeting involving the $35 million building bond referendum scheduled for Wednesday evening was postponed because of the dangerous weather conditions, according to a statement that was released earlier that day by the superintendent’s office.

The meeting is rescheduled for 2 p.m. Saturday in the RTR High School gymnasium in Tyler.

“We’re still planning on having one more public meeting so we can discuss the review and comment from the Minnesota Department of Education and to answer any questions before the election,” RTR Superintendent David Marlette said.

The special election for the referendum is scheduled for Tuesday from 4-8 p.m. at three different sites — Russell Community Center, Tyler American Legion and Ruthton Community Center.

The meeting will also address any confusion regarding the status of a lawsuit that was brought against the Russell-Tyler-Ruthton School District recently by four plaintiffs in the district. The lawsuit filed on Jan. 17 in Lyon County District Court by Gary Erdmann, Terry Gordon, Alan Martin and Stan Townsend actually contains two parts.

The plaintiffs in the case allege that the building bond question violates RTR’s 2016 consolidation plan. Court documents reveal that the four area residents also sought a temporary restraining order regarding the Feb. 12 referendum. The latter part was dismissed recently.

The plaintiffs shared a statement with the Independent on Wednesday.

“We decided to cancel the motion asking for a temporary restraining order,” the statement said. “That will allow the referendum vote scheduled for Feb. 12 to go forward. At this point, the lawsuit as spelled out in the complaint filed with the court has not been dropped or dismissed.

The plaintiffs are considering their next step in that regard.”

While the plaintiffs voluntarily dismissed their motion for a temporary injunction, a motion hearing scheduled for this past Wednesday has been rescheduled until 10 a.m. on Feb. 22, according to court documents, regarding the second part of the lawsuit.

According to Marlette, the school district opposes the motion, but respects the democratic process that is allowed to take place. A comment from Marlette on Tuesday was reportedly misconstrued by some when he said the lawsuit was dropped. He was referring to the injunction dismissal.

A statement released on Tuesday regarding the lawsuit proceedings reiterated that the school district had been served with a summons and complaint in a declaratory judgement action on Jan. 17 and that the plaintiffs in that action sought a temporary injunction to prevent the school district from conducting the upcoming special election from taking place.

The statement also says that on Feb. 4, the plaintiffs voluntarily dismissed their motion for a temporary injunction.

“Consequently, the motion hearing scheduled for February 6, 2019, will not take place, and the election will take place on February 12, 2019, as scheduled,” Marlette said in the statement.