RPS on ballot question suit: ‘We look forward to the election’

RPS Response to Legal Challenge on Technology Referendum

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(ABC 6 News) – UPDATE: Rochester Public Schools released the following statement Tuesday, following a civil suit opposing the wording of the Nov. 7 tax levy ballot question:

“The District engaged legal counsel to ensure that the ballot question was drafted to meet all legal requirements. We look forward to the election and await the voters’ decision.”


(ABC 6 News) – A member of Rochester’s Say No To The Taxman Committee filed a civil suit Monday opposing the RPS tax levy’s wording on the ballot.

Casey McGregor filed the lawsuit as an individual outside of her committee membership, according to a “Say No To The Taxman” press release Monday, Oct. 30.

RELATED: Voters weigh in on the RPS levy – ABC 6 News – kaaltv.com

On Nov. 7, residents will vote on two issues — a movement to renew the city’s sales tax, and Rochester Public Schools’ request for $10.1 million each year for the next 10 years, which has been branded as RPS’ Technology Referendum.

Part of that money will be used fund technology and security — but $7 million would go to the schools’ general fund, Supt. Pekel told voters last month.

RELATED: Dr. Pekel speaks to voters in support of RPS tech levy – ABC 6 News – kaaltv.com

McGregor’s civil suit leans on that point, arguing that as about 70 percent of the money raised would go to flex spending, the project levy fails to actually describe or name the projects most of the 10-year levy would support.

RPS capital project levy question, as seen on My Ballot MN.

The civil suit challenges the form of the ballot question, rather than RPS’ ability to request a tax referendum, court documents note.

Instead, McGregor argues that the ballot question, as it stands, misinforms the voting public.

Rochester Public Schools communications director Mamisoa Knutson said the school district had received the civil suit Monday and was reviewing it.

City of Rochester communications and engagement director Jenna Bowman said unless directed otherwise by a judge, the Nov. 7 election will continue as planned.