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Atherton council wants bidding process for choosing town attorney

 

An ad hoc committee of two council members and a handful of citizens will most likely help the Atherton City Council in the process of hiring a town attorney, the council agreed in a special meeting held Monday (Aug. 2) morning.

Current town attorney Wynne Furth formally notified the town on July 1 that her firm, McDonough Holland & Allen, was terminating its contract with the town, effective Aug. 31, because the firm was ending its operations. Ms. Furth subsequently submitted a proposed agreement between the town and her new firm, Burke, Williams & Sorenson of Menlo Park.

Although City Manager Jerry Gruber, at the council's July 21 meeting, recommended retaining Ms. Furth and the services of the new law firm, the council asked Mr. Gruber to come up with more options, including going out to bid for legal services, and appointing a committee of citizens and council members to facilitate the process.

At that meeting and the Aug. 2 meeting, Ms. Furth's performance was debated, with Mayor Kathy McKeithen most forcefully expressing dissatisfaction with it, and Councilwoman Elizabeth Lewis defending Ms. Furth's work with the town, which has been hit hard by litigation and settlements costs.

With the council majority supporting a bidding process to hire the next attorney and the formation of an ad hoc committee to participate, Ms. Lewis and Councilman Jim Dobbie volunteered to be on the committee.

The council is expected to formalize its decision to appoint a committee at its regular meeting on Aug. 18, when, it is hoped, all council members will be present. Councilman Jerry Carlson was absent from the Aug. 2 meeting.

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Comments

Like this comment
Posted by Guardian
a resident of Atherton: West of Alameda
on Aug 3, 2010 at 6:46 pm

Ms Lewis on the ad hoc committee to select a new (more competant) City Attorney? That's like letting the Fox guard the henhouse! :-(


Like this comment
Posted by Menlo Voter
a resident of Menlo Park: other
on Aug 3, 2010 at 7:30 pm

"Ms Lewis on the ad hoc committee to select a new (more competant) City Attorney? That's like letting the Fox guard the henhouse!"

Honest to god, has Ms Lewis no shame?


Like this comment
Posted by Kimberly Sweidy
a resident of Atherton: West of Alameda
on Aug 4, 2010 at 8:10 am

Open Letter to Ms. Lewis,

Please resign your seat on the City Council.

If you don't know why I'm asking this, then you need to resign. If you know why I'm asking this, then you need to resign.

Either way, please resign your seat on the City Council.

Kimberly Sweidy


Like this comment
Posted by R.GORDON
a resident of another community
on Aug 5, 2010 at 6:26 pm

R.GORDON is a registered user.

This is just the beginning of a domino effect in re: to resignations in our political corridors.
It is a bit too obvious for those who believe this strange.


Like this comment
Posted by get involved
a resident of Atherton: West Atherton
on Aug 6, 2010 at 8:37 am

Let the bidding begin. It's an open process, and residents who have complaints about the town's legal advice and practices over the years should make their voices heard to the council, publicly. And respectfully.

My own gripe is that reviews of three council members' actions in the last year have been done by the town attorney instead of an independent investigator. Conflict? I think so.

Let's step up to this challenge and turn things around here. Get involved.


Like this comment
Posted by R.GORDON
a resident of another community
on Aug 6, 2010 at 12:13 pm

R.GORDON is a registered user.

"get involved"
IT is happening at a fearsome speed......beyond the bullet train.


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