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Library board safe for now

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By The Staff

GREELEY — A Weld County District Court Judge last week issued a preliminary injunction preventing any changes to the High Plains Library District board after a lawsuit was filed in the case.

 

Judge Hulie Hoskins issued the injunction Tuesday, April 29, after a lawsuit was filed by High Plains trustees April 15 and a subsequent temporary restraining order was issued April 17.

Members of the library district from Fort Lupton, Weld County and other founding communities previously moved to remove the current library board members over what they claimed was dissatisfaction with how the district was being managed.

Hoskin’s injunction noted that the actions taken to remove the current board were done “contrary” to state statute, and that good cause for their removal had not been established. The judge also cited that the replacement board members suggested would only represent 14 percent of the district’s membership.

As part of the injunction, the current board is prohibited from entering into new contracts without “full agreement of all parties” in the lawsuit; only implementation of exisiting policies and procedures will be allowed as litigation remains pending.

In response to the lawsuit, the Firestone Board of Trustees sent a letter to the parties involved, requesting them to resolve the dispute.

“As a major stakeholder in the High Plains Library District, Firestone is home to one of the district’s branches ... it is estimated that town property owners will pay more than $440,000 in property taxes to the library district this year,” a news release from Firestone state. “By way of history, the town donated the property to the district to build the Carbon Valley branch with an expectation of excellence service.”

The letter expressed Firestone trustees’ hope that the district “maintain a strong commitment to fair and equitable representation of branch library supporters and district stakeholders,” and that the opinion of the board is that “mediation, not litigation” is the best solution to the dispute.

Named as defendants in the suit are the Weld County Commissioners, Ault Mayor Gary White, Fort Lupton Mayor Tommy Holton, Eaton Mayor Scott Moser, Hudson Mayor Ray Patch and Weld RE-8 School Board of Education President Mike Simone.