MOSES LAKE — The Columbia Basin Herald will livestream on its Facebook page oral arguments before the state’s Third District Court of Appeals on last February’s disputed $135 million school construction bond.
“We are planning to livestream the hearing in its entirety just like we did during the past two school board meetings,” said Lynne Lynch, the Herald’s managing editor. “We know this issue is important to the community we serve and are working to bring you as much information as we can. School overcrowding, taxpayer-funded bonds and legal elections are issues that impact many.”
The district appellate court, which is based in Spokane, is slated to begin hearing arguments from attorneys in the case of Fred Meise et al v. Michele Jaderlund, Grant County Auditor, at 10 a.m. on Monday, Feb. 5. Each side will be given 15 minutes to make its case before the three-judge panel of justices George Fearing, Kevin Korsmo and Laurel Siddoway.
Last February, voters in the Moses Lake School District approved by a razor-thin margin a $135 million bond to build a second high school, an eleventh elementary school, make some needed repairs to the current high school, and improve security district wide.
However, a group of voters — Fred Meise, Doug Bierman, Pat Hochstatter, Mike Counsell, Jason Melcher and Jared Pope — sued following concerns that Jaderlund, who oversees elections in Grant County, did not follow the law when dealing with ballots with missing or unmatched signatures. The suit was originally heard by Judge John Antosz in Grant County Superior Court last March, who ruled that Jaderlund “substantially complied” with law, thus tossing out the challenge to the election.
Since then, the fate of the bond has been in limbo as attorneys from both sides prepared both appeals and responses and then waited for the appellate court panel to put the case on their docket.