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Fri, Sept. 20

Committee not required to pursue consolidation 2019 election

Judge David Mackey

Judge David Mackey

COTTONWOOD – The Committee for Better Upper Verde Valley Schools is not required to seek a consolidation election in 2019, Yavapai County Superior Court Judge David Mackey ruled Friday.

Though the committee’s Motion for Relief from Judgment was denied, Mackey’s ruling explained that his Oct. 5, 2018 stipulated judgment did not require an election take place in 2019 to consolidate the Cottonwood-Oak Creek and Mingus Union school districts.

“Nothing in the stipulated judgment prevents the committee from proceeding with a school district consolidation election process in future years,” Mackey stated in his Aug. 2 ruling. “The committee will just need to proceed without the agreement of the plaintiffs that they will not challenge the forms approved in the stipulated judgment.”

Mackey’s ruling stated that Mingus Union could not challenge an election “if they did proceed in 2019 and [the committee] used the form of petition as agreed for that election cycle.”

“The promises of the plaintiffs not to challenge the legality of the committee’s school district consolidation election process based on the arguments that were made in this litigation or that could have been made in this litigation apply into the future and are not limited this election cycle,” the Aug. 2 ruling stated.

The ruling also stated that regardless of which judge is involved in future litigation between the two sides, if the committee “uses the same forms, the plaintiffs will have a hard time arguing that the form of the petition or superintendent’s checklist as set forth by the stipulated judgment are flawed.”

-- Follow Bill Helm on Twitter @BillHelm42

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