Atherton hires new city attorney

Wynne Furth previously worked in Palo Alto

Wynne Furth, Atherton's new city attorney, made her debut at the Wednesday, Feb. 18, city council meeting.

Ms. Furth, of Oakland-based McDonough, Holland & Allen, has previously served as the acting city attorney for Palo Alto and as the city attorney of Claremont. The Atherton City Council approved a contract with Ms. Furth at a special council meeting on Feb. 13.

She replaces city attorney Marc Hynes, who announced his resignation in September.

Ms. Furth has been a member of the state bar association since 1973, and she holds a law degree from Harvard University and a bachelor's degree from Stanford University, according to biographical information posted on her law firm's Web site.

"I am confident that we are selecting a very good candidate to represent our town," Mayor Jerry Carlson told The Almanac. "I think she will give us excellent advice and push back on us when she needs to."

Ms. Furth had been interviewed by all but one of the five council members and by key members of town staff, Mr. Carlson said.

"I think it was a unanimous choice," he said. "I think (the staff) comments were strongly in support of this firm."

Councilman Charles Marsala said Ms. Furth's experience made her a good match for the town.

Mr. Carlson said that Ms. Furth's law firm is well-regarded and large enough to handle most of the town's legal services in-house. In recent years, Atherton has had to contract out for legal services on a number of litigation and other issues.

"They have the experience to take care of most issues (within) the firm rather than farm things out, and I think that's a good thing," Mr. Carlson said. "This ought to give us better cost controls."

The council meets the third Wednesday of the month at 7 p.m. at the Town Council Chambers, 94 Ashfield Road.

■ View information and agendas on the town's Web site.


Like this comment
Posted by Martin Engel
a resident of Menlo Park: Park Forest
on Feb 18, 2009 at 1:04 pm

Welcome, Ms. Furth. One of your first jobs will be to educate the council and rail committee about eminent domain adverse takings, inverse condemnation and related topics as the California High-Speed Rail Authority comes down the Peninsula like a Tsunami, inundating Atherton, Menlo Park and Palo Alto, among many other towns. I look forward to meeting you at a monthly rail committee meeting.



Like this comment
Posted by alison
a resident of Atherton: West Atherton
on Mar 12, 2009 at 3:14 pm

Welcome Ms. Furth

Your first task will be to educate the City Council on how to treat its employees and contract vendors.

Public statements like "they'll charge you what they can get away with" show an utter contempt for those who chose public sector over more lucrative industries.

If you are outraged, you have a right to be.

Like this comment
Posted by Fiscally responsible
a resident of Atherton: other
on Mar 15, 2009 at 6:17 pm

With all the legal bills piling up, there\'s got to be some way to hold the former City Attorney for giving such bad advice to the Town.

I urge Ms. Furth to find a way.

Sorry, but further commenting on this topic has been closed.

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