The Minnesota Court of Appeals heard oral arguments in the lawsuit filed against YME by citizens from Clarkfield. The lawsuit dates back to 2010 and involves the procedures and scope of a facilities upgrade completed at YME. The hearing was held on April 4 at the Brown County Courthouse in New Ulm.
Presiding over the oral arguments were Judge Jill Flaskamp, Judge John R. Rodenberg for Judge Renee L. Worke and Judge Michelle A. Larkin.
Respondents in the case were Scott Wintz,, et al.; appellants were YME District #2190.
Attorneys for both respondents and appellants had submitted written briefs to the court prior to the oral arguments and only those attorneys who had filed briefs were allowed to argue. The YME attorney was allowed 15 minutes and argued that the Air Quality/energy project was approved by the Minnesota Department of Education and done within the scope of Minnesota Statue. The Respondent’s attorney was allowed 15 minutes and argued that there was no evidence of health and safety concerns at YME, YME had a “wish list” of things to complete, and YME should have gone to the voters for approval of the project. The Respondent also made an appeal that $2.4 million (hot water pipes and sprinklers) should be returned to the school district residents.
“It was an interesting procedure,” said YME Superintendent Al Stoeckman. He went on to explain that the 15-minute time limit allowed each side was basically filled with a series of questions by the three judges.
To date YME has spent $75,800 on legal fees associated with the lawsuit.
The Court of Appeals has 90 days to make a decision.