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Powder Springs Should Explore Attorney Possibilities

I think that I am correct in saying that there was always a majority of council members who favored at least looking at other attorneys for service, expertise and costs.

Dear Readers,

Last winter I wrote about the City Attorney and why the city had not taken "bids" to see if the services and costs were in line with what was expected.

In preparation for these new articles I wrote the Mayor and asked if she would comment. Her reply was that the City Attorney job is not a bid position. It is, rather, a personnel matter and that the Mayor and council would have a closed meeting to discuss this if so warranted. 

Actually this was done over a year ago. A prominent attorney who has served other cities was called in to speak with us. The council did not seem very impressed and that was that, we continued on with Brock, Clay and Calhoun. 

The Mayor said that she would "look around" and see if there were other attorneys who we might like to interview. Of course, none of that happened. The issue has been brought up at Retreats and it was, I thought, the consensus that we should entertain other proposals although it was never certain that we wanted to discharge our current arrangement. So that is where it sits.

Why bring this up? Brock, Clay and Calhoun (BC&C) has been the attorney for over 12 years. I think that there was always some questions about the advice we received from them.

During the years they sent various members of the firm. Mr. Calhoun has stayed the longest. He is an expert on issues such as zoning. My point was that it would not hurt to have some different perspectives and I believe that most of the council agreed at different times.

Since I served 12 years the council has changed at different times due to retirements and I think that I am correct in saying that there was always a majority who favored at least looking at other attorneys for service, expertise and costs.

I don't think that it is too much to ask our elected officials to review legal council from time-to-time. Over the years I have seen their role and the importance of such, to increase in importance.

For instance, does the attorney give an opinion based on the law and the ramifications of our decision? Or is the attorney worried that if their decision is not what the elected officials want to hear they might be in danger of losing the account? 

I cannot honestly impugn the integrity of BC&C, they are very well respected throughout Cobb county. But it is just prudence to not let the same attorneys serve in such an important position for well over 12 years. That is all that I am pointing out and did so during my time especially the last few years. 

Thanks for reading and next time I will revisit .

Thomas D. Bevirt

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Richard Calhoun September 18, 2012 at 10:29 PM
Tom, our firm has represented the city of Powder Springs for well over 12 years, and considers it an honor to do so. As you know from the city charter, the city attorney is responsible for representing the city in court, and for advising the Mayor and Council on the legal aspects of the city's affairs. To my knowledge, the city has never lost a case where our firm represented it in court, and in fact, just last month prevailed again in a wrongful discharge case in Cobb Superior Court. As for advising the Mayor and Council, it is probably true that from time to time individual Council members ( yourself included) may not have agreed with the legal advice they were given, but that changes neither the facts, the law, nor the advice. As you acknowledge, our firm is well regarded in Cobb County, and it is our goal to continue to provide the city of Powder Springs with the best legal representation possible for as long as we are privileged to do so.
Pierce September 19, 2012 at 02:25 AM
Here we go again, Mr Bevirt doesn't like the message so his answer is to bash the messenger. This time, he's out gunning for the city attorney ( oops, unfortunate metaphor choice there...wasn't it Mr Bevirt that made a comment about shooting, and then they changed the locks on city hall?) Poor 'ol Mr. Bevirt just isn't very happy these days. He seems determined to stir up as much as he can to derail anyone he sees as being in the same camp as the mayor and council. Next week we're promised another swipe at ( in Bevirtspeak, that's revisiting) the city manager. Oh boy, I can hardly wait for that.
Psycho Coyote September 19, 2012 at 03:13 PM
I hear Wyoming has excellent City Attorneys and Managers too! Maybe Akell needs a traveling companion?
Vorant1 September 25, 2012 at 12:19 AM
I really don't have a dog in this fight, but your posting seems rather infantile and petty.

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