[Vision2020] Weitz is a civic terrorist?

Art Deco deco at moscow.com
Tue May 8 17:50:09 PDT 2007

Let's see if I can piss absolutely everyone off.

First, it is my belief that in matters of government The Rule of Law as opposed to The Rule of Man is basically what protects our individual rights and guards us from arbitrary judgments made by individuals/organizations in their own interests.  The Rule of Law does not operate perfectly unfortunately, but when it does operate well, we are all much better off.

Hence, I agree with the premise that in all its actions any governmental or quasi-governmental agency should follow the law as written.  If they find a problem with a particular law, the recourse is to try to change that law and/or ask for judicial relief.  Hence, anyone who sincerely believes that a government or quasi-governmental body is breaking the law has the right, if not the duty to ask for judicial relief by following the correct, relevant judicial procedures.  There is one small caveat, however, which I will mention below.

I have not read Weitz's complaint, nor am I likely to spend the buck a page to get a copy.  If anyone has a PDF or DOC file of it, I would appreciate it if they could email it to me at waf at moscow.com.  I have not made a layman's reading of the laws at issue.  From times past, I remember that there is usually a small time window in which to file and to perfect a challenge to the results of a levy election.  I doubt that the court will consider a challenge to a levy that occurred in 1992 or even last year.  I could be wrong -- I haven't read the applicable laws.

The caveat, if I am permitted to be long winded:

Without question Weitz has the right as a citizen to challenge within the framework of existing law, the last levy if he sincerely feels that its execution was illegal.  However, whether his claim that he is doing it for the children and school district is bullshit or not depends on the answers to a few questions.

The most prominent of these questions is:  Did Weitz attempt to point out clearly to the MSD before the last levy election the legal problems he is now claiming in court to exist?  If he did not, then his self-claimed altruistic motivation is highly suspect.  

If one wants a government body to act in accordance with the law in a given matter, one ought point out before an alleged violation occurs what one's opinion of the alleged possible illegality is.  In the present case, this could have been done by directly addressing the MSD and/or by asking for a restraining order from the court.

I do not remember any request for a restraining order.  Given the quality of the reporting/coverage of the local newspapers, it is possible that such a request was made but its occurrence was not reported.  At any rate, the election occurred.

Assuming that no restraining order was requested, did Weitz ever approach the MSD in any way prior to the last levy election with his clearly articulated concerns?  Perhaps some V 2020 poster knows whether he did or not, or can find the answer.  If he did not, then bullshit is the answer to his self-serving claims of altruistic motivation.  

Further, as it has already been pointed out, Weitz himself was the MSD board during the levying process for some of the levies he is now challenging.  Do the minutes of the MSD Board reflect any concerns/objections by Weitz relevant to the problems he is now challenging?  Does anyone know?  If Weitz did not clearly articulate his concerns when he was a member of the board, it is highly improbable that his current altruistic, self-serving claims of motivation deserve credibility at all.

If, however, Weitz made a clearly articulated claim of levy related alleged illegalities to the MSD before the last levy election or asked the court for a restraining order to stop the election, and in the cases of the levies that occurred during his MSD Board tenures clearly presented his objections to their legalities, then it would be unjust to criticize him for his current actions or call him a civic terrorist.

To recap:  If prior to the last levy election and prior to the levy elections that occurred during his school board tenures, Weitz made a clearly articulated, good-faith effort to point out the alleged illegalities, and the MSD either ignored his warning or found them without merit, then, if his position now has probable merit, he ought not be scorned.  If he has not made prior attempts, whatever his present motivation, it is not to help the children and school district -- he could have done this simply by threatening legal action should MSD err again or to ask for a restraining order should another levy election be set.

I await the answers to the questions concerning Weitz's prior actions to attempt to correct the alleged problems before they occurred.

There is another question.  Has the MSD paid attorneys to check for each levy election to see that all the legalities have been properly executed?  Did the MSD receive correct legal advice?  Did they follow it?  If any part of Weitz's claim is found to have merit and tax money is lost as the result of erroneous legal advice, can the MSD collect the lost funds by an action for malpractice against the errant attorneys?

Wayne A. Fox
1009 Karen Lane
PO Box 9421
Moscow, ID  83843

(208) 882-7975
waf at moscow.com

----- Original Message ----- 
From: Glenn Schwaller 
To: vision2020 at moscow.com 
Sent: Tuesday, May 08, 2007 2:10 PM
Subject: [Vision2020] Weitz is a civic terrorist?

Ms. Emerinemix,

I don't know if there is any merit to Dr. Weitz's claim.  I believe that the foundation for any argument is "is this position valid?"   With something as complex and potentially dangerous and damaging as the illlegality of a tax-based ballot measure, I have no problem with someone questions its validity.  Dr. Weitz has wisely chosen to use the law to determine if his claim has merit.  Many will discount this as "frivolity" and cite a laundry list of reasons based on gut-wrenching emotion (oh the poor kids!  The poor teachers!  The poor administration!) and avoid considering a more insidious outcome of allowing a group to unfairly and inappropriately tax the public for whatever it is they want (be it schools, roads, parks, athletic centers).  This potentially could set a precedence by which any group could do the same thing.  If Dr. Weitz's claim has no legal merit, then why would MSD have any concern?  I for one would rather see the law surrounding this issue clearly delineated than to see some other, possibly more unsavory group, use the same tactics to fund their particular interest.


"The bigger they are, the harder they fall on you"
     Mark Knopfler


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