Saturday, December 24, 2005

The Case of the School Board vs. the City [part 1]

It's always so fun to come home. Catch up on old news from your family, see what's changed in your hometown--and what's stayed the same. And, if you're like me and grew up in a smaller town in suburban MN, hear the stories of all of the ridiculous antics that take place in the town.

This year's story tops them all!!!

Once upon a time, in a small suburb of the Twin Cities, there was a community that was growing very fast. So fast, in fact, that their high school had become too small to accommodate the amount of students entering ninth grade. And so, the School District decided to build a new high school in the city. A grand new high school, that would give the Students of the Town enough space to learn and grow and stretch their wings. And so, the School District began its search for a site upon which to build its grand new high school.

Many a site was visited, many a site was rejected for one reason or another. Not flat enough; too marshy and wet; too far away from the residential area; too close to the main highway. And then, one day, the School District found the perfect site. How joyful School District felt that day! Its dream of a new high school was that much closer to becoming a reality!

Throughout the whole process of searching for a perfect site upon which to build its new high school, the School District had many conversations and meetings with the City Council, so that the city would be aware of the School District's movements along its journey to the new school. On the day that the School District found its perfect site, the School District contacted the City Council and shared the wonderful news.

"We've found a site for our new high school!" the School District cried, almost overtaken by the joy of it.

"Fantastic!" exclaimed the City Council. "Where is this new site?"

And the School District, beside itself with glee, quickly told the City Council about their perfect site.

The City Council, upon hearing the news, congratulated the School District. "Well done!" the City Council said, shaking the School District's hand and smiling.

"Thank you!" came the excited reply. "We will begin preparations immediately for the approval and eventual building on the site. We are so excited!"

"Fantastic," said the City Council again.

And the School District, true to its word, began preparations for approving the site the very next day. It drafted a Referendum for the People of the Town. It publicized the discovery of its perfect site. And it looked at the perfect site from every angle, marveling in the perfect site's perfection.

Now, the only downside the School District found about the site was that the City Council had designated the area in which the perfect site was located to remain undeveloped until 2022. Upon further research, however, the School District soon learned that the rule could be waived if the development was in the best interest of the town. The School District worried over this for a little while, but soon shrugged off its worries when it realized that, in all of the many meetings and conversations it had had with the City Council, the City Council had never mentioned this rule as a problem for the perfect site. And so plans for the new school continued without any foreseen obstacles in the way.

The Referendum passed, adding the necessary monetary support for the school from the People of the Town. Plans were layed for the school's construction. Everything was ready to begin. There was just one last step that the School District had to take in order to get their plan for the new school underway.

And so, the School District met with the City Council.

"We have set all of the plans for our new high school at the perfect site," the School District told the City Council.

"Fantastic," replied the City Council.

"We have one last thing that we need to do so we can get underway," said the School District in a leading tone.

"What is that?" asked the City Council.

"We need to ask that you waive the rule prohibiting the development of the perfect site until 2022 so that we may start on construction of the school now," said the School District, a bit confused as to why the City Council seemed unaware that this question was the purpose for the meeting.

"Oh," said the City Council. "Well, sorry, but the answer is no. We will not waive that rule."

"What?!?!" exclaimed the School District. "How can you say this? You knew that we need to build this school now. You knew that we wanted to build the school on the perfect site. Why didn't you tell us that you would not waive this rule?"

"It never came up in our meetings and discussions," responded the City Council, annoyingly calm from the School District's perspective.

"This is outrageous!" cried the School District, rising to leave the meeting. "You have not heard the last of this."

And the School District left the room without another word.

A few days later, the City Council received notice that the School District was taking the City Council to court to have a judge force the City Council to waive this rule prohibiting development of the perfect site until 2022.

---end of Part 1---

...stay tuned for Part 2 of this story: the conclusion of the court case and the future plans for the new high school!

[This story is based upon real events from my hometown; however, parts of the story have been embellished to create dramatic effect and to reflect the opinions of the author.]

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