Atherton names new town attorney


The Atherton City Council unanimously chose William B. Conners of Pebble Beach as the town's next city attorney this morning (April 15), contingent upon the successful negotiation of a contract, the city clerk has announced.

The council met in closed session at 8 a.m. today to make its decision after considering several other candidates for the job.

Interim City Manager John Danielson will now work to negotiate a six-month contract with Mr. Conners, with a one-year optional extension, based on an evaluation, City Clerk Theresa DellaSanta said.

That contract is scheduled to be brought before the council for final approval at a special council meeting on Wednesday, April 20, at 6:30 p.m., she said.

Mr. Conners was one of three top candidates recommended for the post by a town citizen advisory committee and an ad-hoc committee made up of council members Elizabeth Lewis and Jerry Carlson.

His firm tied with Best, Best & Krieger for first place in the list of recommendations. Burke Williams and Sorensen of Menlo Park, which employs current town attorney Wynne Furth, ranked No. 3 on the list.

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Like this comment
Posted by Mixed feelings
a resident of Atherton: Lindenwood
on Apr 16, 2011 at 1:37 am

I am somewhat concerned about this appointment after reading a different newspaper articule that indicated Conners had perhaps submitted the lowest bid. As we all should know by now, the full cost of a city attorney is measured by more than the monthly retainer. The litigation and emotional turmoil inflicted on the town by poor decision making can be far, far in excess of the difference of $9,800 that will be paid to Mr. Conners and the $11,000 that is currently paid. Certainly by my measure of cost of a city attorney, Furth cost this Town dearly. We have had two incredibly poor attorneys in a row in Furth and Hynes and I suppose the one positive statement that could be made about Mr. Conners is that it would be awfully hard for him to be worse. However, that is setting a very low bar and I truly hope we have selected a city attorney who can finally handle this town's legal affairs properly.

Like this comment
Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton: Lindenwood
on Apr 16, 2011 at 12:45 pm

Having served on the Citizens' Selection Committee for the new Town Attorney I can assure you that the lowest bidder was also the most highly rated. His personal hands on experience includes 15 years as City Attorney for the City of Monterey and an additional nearly 11 years as Assistant City Attorney.

What the Town is getting is a highly experienced individual rather than a highly paid law firm.

I am confident that he will do a superb job.

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