Met on the 14th for mediation. I thought we might actually get a deal. The mediator, Robert Helfand, really was very good. We couldn't work it out, but we left it that their attorney and I would talk, so I put some thoughts together for him about the shape of a deal that might work, and which incidentally would cost the district a lot less money than their own offer would cost them, along with complete freedom from all past liability.
I guess I'll know in a couple of days. The past is not an encouraging guide to the future, but you never know. This lawyer might be more reasonable and not as unprincipled as Morris of Stutz Artiano. The law is more favorable now and stands to improve further in Congress. The most unreasonable board members might get recalled, and if so, Heatley will surely follow. Or someone might think that saving money, escaping all liability, and being in one less of several pointless fights is not such a bad idea.
OAH had to grant my request for an open hearing because I'm entitled to it under the law, but made it empty by denying my motion for change of venue by the simple expedient of ignoring how I had amended it, and then ruling on the merits of the original. It's part of the record for the District Court if we need to go there. I have to file my amended request, which will reset all the hearing dates, and then I need to file again for change of venue. It looks like the hearing will be in June if we need to get that far. This will give everyone more time to work out a deal, beginning with another resolution session.
In all of this, it really is true that "this is the victory that overcomes the world, our faith." All this is kind of like a football game. But the real victory is if I believe God and his truth, and it's defeat for me so far as I don't. And as I was walking around this evening talking things over with the Lord, I got a good look at some things that have been out of place in me for at least 55 years and had a few words with God about these impossibilities. I have some history with God to know that some very good stuff will be happening in my life in all of this, much better than anything within the jurisdiction of OAH or even within the jurisdiction of the federal courts. This battle in the human spirit is the one that really counts, the good fight of faith, which those that hate us can help us win, just as those that love us can tempt us to lose. We have to be careful about hating people, but we have to be careful about how we love them too.
So thanks, Jean Martin, for being in my life. Thanks, Ed Heatley, for being in my life. You do not mean it so, and you know no more of the good you've done me unintended than of the harm you're doing to yourselves, but in this case at least, though not in all things, "it is the result that counts."