PAXTON — The attorney for a Paxton resident who sought a temporary restraining order to prohibit the Paxton-Buckley-Loda school district from tearing down the historic PBL Eastlawn School building said he plans to dismiss the case, after an appellate court recently upheld a Ford County judge’s ruling to deny the restraining order.
Chicago attorney Robert Minetz recently sent notice to the school district’s attorney, J. Christian Miller of Monticello, indicating he plans to appear before Ford County Judge Matt Fitton at 11:30 a.m. Dec. 11 to present the motion to dismiss.
The anticipated dismissal of the case comes after a ruling by Judge Craig H. DeArmond in the Appellate Court of Illinois’ Fourth District to uphold Fitton’s Nov. 1 denial of the restraining order, which was sought by Minetz on behalf of his daughter, Paxton resident Jolen Anya Minetz.
Three days after Fitton’s ruling, workers began tearing down the 94-year-old school building at 341 E. Center St. in Paxton. That same day, Robert Minetz filed an appeal, seeking to prohibit the school district from proceeding.
Robert Minetz claimed that a referendum that voters narrowly approved in November 2016 — authorizing the district to issue building bonds to tear down the building — was illegal because, among other reasons, “it denied the voters the ability to choose some projects and reject some other projects.” The referendum asked for voters’ approval to issue bonds totaling $31.4 million to fund the demolition of Eastlawn, build a two-story addition to Clara Peterson Elementary School and renovate the existing Clara Peterson Elementary School building as well as PBL High School.
Miller, meanwhile, argued that the complaint failed to meet the requirements for a temporary restraining order. In court on Nov. 1, Miller characterized the case as “a political dispute,” adding that “this is not a legal dispute whatsoever. ... This is a red herring.”
“This is a waste of the court’s time and taxpayers’ money,” Miller added.