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Plaintiffs post bond in school board case

By Staff | Mar 28, 2008

SPIRIT LAKE — Five plaintiffs who are seeking the removal of two Spirit Lake School Board members posted a required $90,000 bond on Wednesday in district court.

Judge Frank Nelson had ordered the bond at a hearing on March 17. If the bond had not been posted by March 26, the case against school board president Beth Will and vice-president Ann Goerss would have been dismissed.

Iowa law requires private individuals filing actions in district court seeking to remove elected officials from office to post a bond covering court and legal costs.

Several motions in the case — including one for dismissal filed by attorney Steve Avery — will be heard on April 7 at 10 a.m. in Dickinson County District Court.

Last week, after a Physical Plant and Equipment Levy vote failed, the school board voted unanimously to cut more than $1 million from next year‚s budget. The fiscally troubled district faces faculty, coaching and administrative position cuts. Among them: One K-6 teacher, one school nurse, six individuals who resigned or took early retirement, one custodian, a reduction in textbook materials, elimination of driver’s education, one media position and deans of students for the middle and high schools.

The school board has been under fire since Feb. 5, when high school principal Jedd Sherman tended his resignation, which he says was made under duress. Students protested the resignation, and court actions followed.