The Atherton City Council agreed in principle, in a unanimous vote on Aug. 18, to invite area law firms to make their cases in a competition for the position of city attorney.
This situation came about because of the imminent dissolution of the Oakland- and Sacramento-based law firm McDonough, Holland & Allen, the firm of current city attorney Wynne S. Furth and her assistants.
Ms. Furth and her staff will remain in their Oakland offices, but on Aug. 30 will affiliate with Burke, Williams & Sorensen, LLP, a statewide firm with offices in Menlo Park, Ms. Furth told The Almanac.
The council agreed to a temporary contract with Ms. Furth's new firm, an arrangement that the town can cancel at any time, a lawyer for the firm said.
Meanwhile, the council is forming an ad hoc committee starting with council members Jim Dobbie and Elizabeth Lewis and to be filled out with residents experienced in the law, including lawyers and retired judges.
Mayor Kathy McKeithen in July noted considerable dissatisfaction with Ms. Furth's performance, an opinion not publicly supported by other members of the council.