Council votes to place limits on transition work of ex-City Attorney

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With Edmonds Mayor Mike Cooper and City Council President Strom Peterson in Washington, D.C. this week on city business, it was a light Edmonds City Council agenda Tuesday night.

But Cooper’s absence meant he wasn’t able to address council concerns over one agenda item: a proposed agreement for transition legal services to be provided by former City Attorney Scott Snyder of Ogden Murphy Wallace. Snyder is still wrapping up some leftover legal cases even though the new City Attorney, Jeff Taraday of Lighthouse Law Group has started work for Edmonds. The concern expressed by some council members was that the proposed agreement with Ogden Murphy Wallace was too open-ended and had the potential to involve Snyder in other legal cases beyond the transition period — defeating the main purpose of hiring a new city attorney, which was to save money.

Councilmember Lora Petso, who served as acting Mayor for the purpose of the meeting, said Cooper told her it was his intent to have the proposal limited to pending cases. But to be certain of it, the council voted to amend the proposal to ensure that Snyder’s scope of work would require council approval.

The council also:

– Approved a variance requested by the Snohomish County PUD to build an 8-foot-high fence around new substation equipment at 9005 244th St. S.W.  The variance — necessary because the fence would be in a residential zone the limits fence heights to 6 feet —  had been approved the Hearing Examiner but a citizen requested a closed record review. The PUD representative at the meeting noted that the 8-foot height was required by the National Electric Safety Code.

– Awarded a contract in the amount of $1.8 million to Kar-Vel Construction Company for the 2010 waterline replacement project.

– Authorized the Mayor and city staff to waive competitive bidding requirements in order to make emergency repairs to the stormwater pipe that resulted in a sinkhole at Dayton Street just west of the railroad tracks.

– Heard an update from Sustainable Works, which partnered with the City of Edmonds and Sustainable Edmonds to bring reduced-cost energy audits and incentives for energy-saving improvements to area residents and businesses. Sustainable Works has signed up 367 households for energy audits, short of its initial goal of 500 in the Edmonds/Lynnwood area. However, the program’s next stop is next door in Shoreline, so it will still take Edmonds homeowners who are interested in signing up, as long as they register by April 15.

– Received an Annual Report from Municipal Court Judge Doug Fair

– Listened to a presentation by Art Mendel of the Edmonds Senior Center on his efforts to assist baby boomers who have been laid off from their jobs. More on this story is here. The Senior Center will host a Creative Transitions meeting for Edmonds and Lynnwood baby boomers this Saturday from 9:30-11 a.m., with coffee and donuts provided.

 

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