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State Civil Liberties Union will challenge De La Salle–Park Board deal
In a letter to Attorney General Mike Hatch on February 24, the MCLU charged that the proposed reciprocal-use agreement approved February 15 by the Park Board’s planning committee, violates the Establishment Clause of the U.S. Constitution and certain articles of the Minnesota Constitution. “The agreement’s requirement that MPRB hand this land over for De La Salle use in order to allow them to expand their campus and advance their competitive edge within the education setting is an overt form of aid to a sectarian institution and in conflict with the principles set forth in the Minnesota Constitution,” wrote MCLU executive director Charles Samuelson.
The controversial plan includes bleachers for 750 people around a football and soccer field. About the half the facility will be on De La Salle School property and about half will be on park property, writes Kari VanDerVeen in the Downtown Journal. The land will be leased to the school by the Park Board.
Commissioners Bob Fine, Walt Dziedzic, and Carol Kummer voted in favor of the concept plan and reciprocal-use agreement. Commissioner Annie Young voted against both items, while Commissioner Tracy Nordstrom abstained on the concept plan and voted against the reciprocal-use agreement.
The full Park Board is scheduled to vote on the measure at its March 1 meeting.
©2006 The Minneapolis Observer