Edgewood High president releases letter : 'City left us no option' but to file lawsuit


MADISON, Wis. - Edgewood High School president Mike Elliott issued a statement Thursday night defending the school's lawsuit against the City of Madison.

Edgewood sued the City of Madison in federal court Wednesday alleging religious discrimination.

In the two-page letter, Elliott said he made "two promises" when the school's athletic complex projects began.

"First, I would respect the process," Elliott wrote. "Second, I would respect the neighbors. I feel that I have done both."

He said, "The city left us no option but to file in order to protect our rights. We do not want a lawsuit against the City of Madison. We promised to do our best to avoid litigation."

Edgewood's court battle stems from a decision from the Zoning Board of Appeals saying the school could not host games on its field. The school's master plan says it would use the field for practices and classes but does not mention games.

Elliott encouraged supporters to write to Madison Mayor Satya Rhodes-Conway and city alders "asking for their support to allow Edgewood to terminate the Master Plan."\

He said Edgewood will work to use its field for home games, including night games.

On Wednesday, Rhodes-Conway released a statement saying she has withdrawn her sponsorship of an ordinance repealing Edgewood's Master Plan.

"The City of Madison does not discriminate against any religion," Rhodes-Conway said in the statement. "Edgewood High School is free to pursue the repeal of its Master Plan utilizing normal city processes. I encourage Edgewood High School to work with its neighbors to resolve ongoing tensions over the proposal to have a limited number of night games."

Elliott said the next step for Edgewood's battle is at the City Plan Commission meeting at 5:45 p.m. on Aug. 26.