Loss of McNally will hurt Fayette severely

Tue, 07/17/2007 - 4:16pm
By: Letters to the ...

This letter expresses some concerns from six former chairmen of the Fayette County Commission. Each of us gave substantial portions of our lives towards the betterment of our great community. We are all impacted by every decision made by our governing authority.

After only six months in office, the current County Commission has made certain decisions which we believe could severely hurt this county over time. While we understand that you elected them, and they have the legal authority to make these changes, nonetheless we challenge the wisdom of these decisions and feel the public should know.

Last week, although not listed on the public meeting agenda, Bill McNally was removed as the Fayette County Attorney after 28 years of extraordinary service to Fayette County. Three of the six former chairmen listed below attended the meeting and vehemently opposed his removal.

There is not room enough here to list all Bill’s accomplishments, his detailed knowledge of government law, his exemplary professionalism and that of his law firm, his total integrity or his loyalty to Fayette County. Suffice it to say that no one could have served our citizens as well.

So why are they getting rid of him? It’s hard to figure out. The only reason mentioned was that an “in-house attorney” might save some money. Yet the staff completed an analysis which concluded no savings would be achieved by creating an in-house legal department.

We do note that Commissioner Maxwell made removal of Bill McNally one of his highest priorities during his campaign. Is this a political payback?

We know that two of the four commissioners who voted to remove him (Smith and Horgan) intended to retain McNally two weeks prior to his removal. When we visited them separately, they had nothing but praise for McNally, yet still supported Maxwell’s and Frady’s initiative to get rid of him.

We know that we will not receive the same level of legal support we have in the past and that we will pay more for it. We don’t understand why four of five commissioners would do that to Fayette County taxpayers.

Along the same line, within weeks in office this board fired Chris Venice as our county administrator. Again we had an extraordinarily dedicated, honest, hard-working, expert in planning with 19 years experience in planning and enforcing county standards. She was our administrator for almost two years.

Once again, very quietly, with little discussion, she was fired. Since she was fired without cause they had to pay her one year’s severance pay.

They said only that they wanted someone with more experience in that position. They replaced her with another very capable long-term employee, but with no experience in county administration or county management.

We have now lost two tremendously talented and professional employees in critical positions. The little rationale given does not mesh with the facts in either case.

We six ex-chairmen, and a few others who will likely join us, will continue to carefully observe and report our concerns as necessary. We hope you, the public, will join us in observing and reporting your concerns.

Perhaps we should start by examining the study effort directed by our commissioners to consider changing the current defined contribution retirement system to a defined benefit retirement system for our almost 800 county employees.

We know the rest of America is reeling over the problems associated with this type system. Lets ask why, when our citizens are already burdened by taxes, when thousands of our citizens are losing their defined benefit retirements, the County Commission would even consider it.

Perhaps they should place some Delta or General Motors employees on their committee.

Who are the people on the study committee? Who are their consultants and/or advisors? And, what are their personal interests if the system is changed?

We’ll get back to you on this one.

Thank you for your interest in local government.

Jerry Barronton

Harold Bost

Greg Dunn

George Patton

Rick Price

Steve Wallace

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Voice of Fayette Future's picture
Submitted by Voice of Fayett... on Tue, 07/17/2007 - 5:15pm.

Maxwell did not say getting rid of McNally was a goal. He said that cost effectiveness and accountability was a goal.

I am not impressed with any of these Letter Writers. Ain’t that a wonderful collection of mutts. Don’t know Barronton. Wonder who the heck he is. The rest of them either got voted out of office, got nailed for a residency violation and cost us a special election or got arrested for public drunkenness and wife beating. What a motley crue. Hey, George--- the FDIC is still laughing over the fact that you paid more than market value for Stonewall Village.

Cal Beverly is right. Everytime you built something McNally cashed in. Without any disclosure or bids.

Guys--- we are interested in local government just not you-- that's why we voted 4 of you out of office. With friends like these, why does Bill O’Malley need enemies ?

Submitted by lawaboveall on Tue, 07/17/2007 - 6:26pm.


Maxwell most certainly did say, from the very outset of his campaign, that one of his goals was to get rid of the present county attorney and install and in house counsel. I heard it from his own mouth.
This issue would not even be coming up had Eric not committed to eliminating McNally as the price for Randall Johnson's support.

He fulfilled his promise and the county will suffer as a result.

Cal Beverly has disliked McNally because, in his opinion, the commission was not "open" enough to suit him. It is a grudge that goes back for decades.

You can certainly pick out something bad to say about the six letter writers, as did Cal, but I am not sure that there is anyone in this county who can proudly put the stamp of their good work on the quality of life in this county than Bill McNally. It has been his diligence, sage advice (for 30 years)and concern for our citizens that has allowed this county to grow into the wonderful place that it has become today. With the removal of McNally we have the last of the checks and balances removed from this commission doing whatever it chooses to do to ruin the quality of life that we grown to expect.

In six months this commission has:

Removed a County Administrator because she would not "toe the line",

Gutted the budget for a county park for "those people" on the north end of the county and then did not take the lowest bid for the work

Passed a budget increase

Increased the county payroll as the county continues to shrink,

Forced the county engineer to resign because he was not "developer friendly enough".

And finally remove someone who has served this county better than anyone in Bill McNally.

Yes, he was paid for his services, as were all of the service providers for the county. There may not have been bids taken for these services but (even Cal admits) there is no evidence that McNally Fox ever overcharged, billed for services not rendered or did anything that was not to the benefit of the county.

At this rate, the next election to throw two of these morons out will not come soon enough!

Submitted by skyspy on Tue, 07/17/2007 - 9:53pm.

What are you smoking??

In the past 6 months the new commission has done exactly what the people elected them to do. I don't think any of them will get "thrown out"

The "county continues to shrink"??? HUH?? Fayette county is not shrinking.....thats the problem....we are annexing, and throwing up cluster homes and apartments as fast as possible.

Give me a tip on where you are scoring the good stuff.....not on here though because I think some cops monitor this site.....hide the info on a piece of paper taped to the bottom of the garbage can at the publice boat docks on Lake PTC. Leave this top secret message on the next blue moon.....no one will know...

Submitted by dollaradayandfound on Wed, 07/18/2007 - 3:34am.

The cops only have three full-time spys. One for predators, one for dopers, and one for their protection.
Not likely to catch you, especially on the cart path.

tortugaocho's picture
Submitted by tortugaocho on Tue, 07/17/2007 - 8:13pm.

Bravo-- Marvelous effort to save your job. No evidence that McNally engaged in fee gouging ? Yeah, that’s because no one ever saw his bills. Maxwell is a lawyer. The local bar knows, from seeing the time records, that there has been rampant “padding”. This is beyond dispute. What a joke. You even admit that there was never any bidding or disclosure.

What really led to McNally’s downfall was his arrogance. He has always had an attitude of hostility to individuals and to even the cities of Fayette County, forgetting that residents of Tyrone, Fayetteville, PTC, Brooks and Woolsey are still RESIDENTS OF FAYETTE COUNTY ! All in the name of “THE COUNTY: HIS COUNTY”. Sounds like Greg, huh? Let's talk about the long string of wasteful losing lawsuits.

The best example of McNally’s firm being heavy handed whenever they dealt with individuals is that of John Munford, whose relative was bullied by the McNally firm over an easement.

http:/ http://www.thecitizen.com/archive/main/archive-050511/op-03_grievances.html/

It’s interesting how Munford further shows that that is exactly how McNally would give journalists a “talking to”.

When I think of the McNally firm I think of the lawyers on television news shows who try to justify something really crappy they have done. They always say “I was just representing my client.” That’s how these guys have always operated and it is time to go.

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