New city attorney contracted
CAMBRIDGE — Cambridge City Council announced at the Monday, April 24, meeting that MacLeod Law Group has been selected to provide legal services to the city.
This comes after the council voted in January to dismiss long-time city attorney Rob Collison.
The dismissal was considered a personnel matter, and was therefore discussed and voted on by City Council in closed session only, and little information was disclosed publicly. A call to City Manager Sandra Tripp-Jones’ office to request further information was not returned.
Approved by a 6-0 vote, the city will enter into a four-month contract with the Chester townbased law firm, according to
the council’s closed session report read by Tripp-Jones. Mayor Victoria Jackson-Stanley was allowed to vote with the council, as the city’s charter provides.
For routine legal services, the city will pay MacLeod Law Group $8,333 per month, for a four-month total of $33,332.
“During that time, the firm and the city will track activity and costs and then consider a long-term retainer for either that rate or an adjusted rate, based on our experience during that four months,” TrippJones said.
Documents regarding a tax-rate increase to maintain constant yield show that, with this change in attorney, the increase of cost to the city for legal services will be $40,000 in FY18.
The FY17 budget included $114,100 for the city attorney category. That number would rise to $153,500 under the currently proposed FY18 budget.
Former Ward 3 Commissioner Frank Cooke criticized the council’s handling of the situation in a letter to the editor published in The Star Democrat.
Cooke stated in his letter that the vote was 2-1 to end the city’s contract with Collison. Commissioners Steve Rideout and Dave Cannon recused themselves from voting, commissioners Donald Sydnor and La-Shon Foster voted to end the contract, and Commissioner Robert Hanson voted to continue it, Cooke said.
Collison served as city attorney for 21 years. His last City Council meeting was Monday, April 10.