Friday, December 17, 1999
City discusses legal appointments

Staff Writer


Due to a late change in the agenda, the City Council of Peachtree City was scheduled to discuss its various judicial appointments at Thursday night's meeting.

Appointments for the positions of city attorney, solicitor and municipal judge are traditionally made during the council's first meeting in January. City clerk Nancy Faulkner said Wednesday that there could simply be a discussion during Thursday's meeting, but the council could also elect to go ahead with the appointments at that time.

Requests for proposals were sent out in November for city attorney and municipal judge, with a Nov. 19 deadline to apply, according to a city staff report. In addition to several responses for each position, the city received one application for court solicitor, a service which in the past has always been handled by the city attorney.

Since the solicitor duties were not specified in the RFP for city attorneys, staff elected not to open any of the bids for either position and instead prepared a separate RFP for solicitor with a Dec. 3 deadline.

According to a Dec. 6 written statement by the city's purchasing agent, six applicants submitted proposals for municipal judge, four applied for the dual role of city attorney/solicitor, and one each applied for the city attorney and solicitor positions alone.

City manager Jim Basinger forwarded comments and recommendations to the mayor and council in a Dec. 10 memo. He noted that Eric Maxwell of Fayetteville had submitted the lowest bid for the judge's position at $70 per hour, while the firm of Glover and Davis, of which current judge A. Mitchell Powell is a member, bid $120 per hour.

Powell, whose current hourly fee is $95, has been municipal judge for nine years and has done an “outstanding job,” according to Basinger.

Glover and Davis also submitted a bid for city attorney services, consisting of a $600 monthly retainer, $120 per hour for attorney fees and $65 per hour for paralegals and clerks. Powell served as the city's attorney from 1980-1986 and 1988-1991.

The city's current attorneys, the firm of Webb, Stuckey and Lindsey, was the only other local firm to bid. Their proposed fee was $750 per month, $130 per hour for attorneys and $70 per hour for paralegals and clerks. The firm has “in staff's opinion provided excellent service both as city attorney and as solicitor,” Basinger said. John Mrosek, the current solicitor for Tyrone and substitute solicitor for Fayetteville, submitted a proposal to provide only solicitor service for Peachtree City at $85 per hour.

Basinger recommended that council appoint Glover and Davis to provide the services of municipal judge. “While there is a $50 hourly fee difference between the proposals submitted by Eric Maxwell and Glover and Davis, I feel that it is worth the investment to retain the services of Judge Powell in this very critical position,” he said.

Glover and Davis also was recommended to fill the city attorney's position. Basinger pointed out that, should the council elect to follow his suggestion concerning the judgeship, it would be inappropriate for that firm to serve as solicitor, so he recommended Mrosek do the job in that case.

Basinger stressed that this was “not a reflection on the city attorney and solicitor services provided by the firm of Webb, Stuckey and Lindsey for the past eight years. In fact, quite the contrary is true. Their firm has provided an outstanding level of service... because of the capabilities of both firms to deliver top-notch legal services, the decision got down to the bottom line, which was the fee.”

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