Councilor Carmody finally obtains council’s vote to clean-up “loosest of contracts” – after 3.5+ years!
- Editor’s note: I acknowledge Yelm Council member Molly Carmody for her persistence in getting the City of Yelm’s Executive Branch leaders and the city council to finally follow the law in approving an open bidding process for the city attorney.
- Carmody advocated and finally received council’s vote approving to divide contracts for the City Attorney (municipal) and the Prosecuting Attorney, instead of one person being assigned as both.
- That Yelm has had the same attorney for 20 years, when the population was 3,289 and is more than 3 times the size today, required this to finally come to fruition.
- The vote was held September 28th, a no-brainer that should not have taken 3.5 years to get approved!
- See below for my blog posts on Councillor Carmody’s proposals in the first half of 2018.
- Councilor Carmody posted this on her Facebook page after the Sept. 14th council session approving to add this as an action item for Sept. 28th:
Tuesday’s meeting: we had the second reading (first was at the study session) of the proposed contracts for City Attorney (municipal) and Prosecuting Attorney. This doesn’t sound very exciting but I’m pretty proud of it. For decades, both the municipal and the prosecuting duties have been undertaken by one firm/attorney with only the loosest of contracts, while the public defender/assigned counsel attorneys are required to submit new proposals/applications every few years. I didn’t think this was fair. One attorney, getting an open-ended contract, with no chance for someone else to compete for the job? Not right, and I’ve been talking about this for YEARS. Finally, finally, we are poised to divide the position into 2 jobs, both up for grabs every 5 years. Our current attorney is admirably equipped to act as both the municipal attorney and the prosecutor but he’s going to retire eventually and we need to acknowledge that a prosecutor may not be a good municipal attorney and vice versa. If someone wants to submit bids for both, that’s fine!I’ve been talking about this since I was first elected in 2015 and it’s finally coming to fruition. Squeaky wheel, I guess. So I’m proud of that and hopefully we can vote it into reality next meeting.
Story highlights covered here from the January 9, 2018 council session
* Councilor Carmody noted there was a change to city attorney, prosecutor,
* There was no open bidding process on these posts’ changes as required by law,
* The city council was not provided an opportunity to vote on these changes,
* Carmody called on this to be resolved by Court session on Thursday [January 11] morning.
Click here for the in-depth report.
Story highlights covered here from City Administrator Grayum’s response
+ Councilor Carmody is attempting to get city leadership to be consistent in open up bidding for all legal services, “to present a fair and open and transparent contract.”
+ The whole issue of legal representative Brent Dille assigned to the City of Yelm for 15+ years by law firm BGWP, then leaving that firm and starting his own practice, then Mayor Foster immediately appointing Dille to city attorney and city prosecutor, raised many questions, especially regarding favoritism and transparency, which Carmody nailed!
+ Dille served as BGWP’s legal representative as the City Attorney for Yelm since 2000, when this town was a third of the current size. The 2000 population was 3,289, where today’s population is estimated at over 9,000.
+ In 2002, Dille was also appointed BGWP’s legal representative as prosecutor for the City.
+ Mayor Foster has proven he is resistant to change, however in his new role as an elected mayor, this was the perfect time to bring in a new city attorney AND a new prosecutor. The size of city Yelm has become demands there be two separate persons as city prosecutor and city attorney. As usual, Foster chose what was familiar and expedient for him, rather than what was best for his constituents.
+ Since Yelm has more than doubled in size since Dille was appointed 15+ years ago to handle both positions for BGWP, the time has come for new legal representation and two separate lawyers for each of these these posts. Foster did not take such action.
+ I agree with Carmody’s stand.
Click here for the in-depth report posted January 19, 2018.