Aragon coun­cil ap­proves new at­tor­ney hire

The Standard Journal - - FRONT PAGE - By Sean Williams swilliams1­[email protected]­hoo.com

As Aragon bids farewell to long-time city at­tor­ney Zachary Burkhal­ter, they welcome Frank Beacham in his place.

The Brin­son, Askew and Berry at­tor­ney out of Rome is a part­ner in the law firm with long ex­pe­ri­ence within the le­gal sys­tem in­clud­ing a stint as a clerk for the Hon­or­able Harold L. Murphy, United States Dis­trict Court for the North­ern Dis­trict of Ge­or­gia.

Beacham was given unan­i­mous approval from the city coun­cil dur­ing their re­cent reg­u­lar ses­sion fol­low­ing Burkhal­ter’s de­par­ture. This marks the third at­tor­ney the coun­cil has em­ployed since 2014. Pre­vi­ously, Vickey Atkins held the post of city at­tor­ney.

It should be noted that, while nei­ther Beacham nor Burkhal­ter were present, Mayor Garry Bald­win and the coun­cil mem­bers did have su­per­vi­sion from a guest at­tor­ney dur­ing the June 20 meet­ing to en­sure le­gal eth­i­cal­ity.

As Aragon’s new at­tor­ney, Beacham will be re­spon­si­ble for pro­vid­ing le­gal con­sul­ta­tion, aid­ing with contract in­ter­pre­ta­tion, han­dling em­ploy­ment claims lit­i­ga­tion, work­ing with real-es­tate trans­ac­tions and de­vel­op­ments, han­dling busi­ness trans­ac­tions, and deal­ing with cer­tain other lit­i­ga­tion mat­ters.

He may be new to Aragon, but he has a long his­tory of work­ing with mu­nic­i­pal­i­ties.

Dur­ing 18 years of prac­tic­ing law in Ge­or­gia, he spent eight of those years as Rome’s As­sis­tant City At­tor­ney. He’s cur­rently in his fourth year in the same post for the City of Cave Spring, and he has re­cently taken up new du­ties for the City of Plainville’s le­gal representa­tive.

Beacham re­ceived his Bach­e­lor’s De­gree in Me­chan­i­cal En­gi­neer­ing from Ge­or­gia Tech in 1985 and his J.D., Magna Cum Laude, from the Uni­ver­sity of Ge­or­gia School of Law in 2001, where he served on the Ge­or­gia Law Re­view, was a re­cip­i­ent of the Sig­mund Cohn Schol­ar­ship, and was elected to the Or­der of the Coif.

Nu­mer­ous other achieve­ments lined his pro­posal — enough to have won the fa­vor of the coun­cil. The group of­fered lit­tle com­ment and seemed con­fi­dent in their pick.

Though, with a new at­tor­ney, new fees nat­u­rally fol­low.

Beacham’s firm does not re­quire an an­nual re­tainer and they don’t ‘block bill’ or pro­vide ‘flat-rate’ billing.

In­stead, Aragon will be billed by the hour, in one-tenth of an hour in­cre­ments, for what makes up monthly state­ments based on the work and ser­vices ac­tu­ally per­formed. Beacham, along­side the other four pro­posed at­tor­neys, come at rates of $170 per hour.

Those in­ter­ested in more de­tails about Beacham and the firm can find more in­for­ma­tion by vis­it­ing https://www.brin­sonaskew.com/.

Aragon did spend some funds on a new smoke de­tec­tor and a new smart­sign for aid in po­lice en­deav­ors.

While the June 20 agenda had nu­mer­ous other items, the approval of the an­nual pay raise, the approval of Zon­ing Or­di­nance changes, the approval of a new po­lice ap­pli­cant, and approval of many of the sealed bids were all tabled.

The group still plans to tackle the is­sues, but vot­ing will come after a few more rounds of dis­cus­sion.

sean Williams

Aragon City Coun­cil mem­bers gath­ered for their work ses­sion on June 20.

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