Edmonds City Council agrees to delay vote on attorney contract until Thursday

The Edmonds City Council agreed Tuesday night to delay by two days a vote on whether to approve an agreement with the Lighthouse Law Group to become Edmonds’ new city attorney.

Since the council didn’t receive the final Lighthouse contract until a few hours before the meeting, Councilmembers D.J. Wilson and Adrienne Fraley-Monillas both said they needed additional time to review the agreement.

Wilson said he wanted to look more closely at several areas in the agreement, including why the Lighthouse group is carrying $2 million in professional liability insurance compared to the $10 million carried by the city’s current firm, Ogden Murphy Wallace. (City Attorney Scott Snyder explained the difference was most likely due to the fact that Ogden Murphy Wallace is a larger law firm.) Wilson also questioned a statement included in the contract that the firm, which will be working for a flat monthly fee rather than an hourly rate, would not be providing detailed invoices.

Current City Attorney Scott Snyder noted that there is some time pressure involved in the decision, because Ogden Murphy Wallace just finished up some major legal work for Edmonds and it would make sense to bring Lighthouse on board before work on new projects is required.

To accommodate that schedule and the councilmembers’ request for additional review time, the council will hold  special meeting this Thursday, March 3, at 5 p.m. in the Brackett Room, third floor of City Hall, for the sole purpose of considering the Lighthouse group contract.

In other action, the council:

– Heard year-end reports from Frank Yamamoto, president of the Edmonds Economic Development Commission and Phil Lovell, chair of the Edmonds Planning Board. Yamamoto noted that the commission has focused on four main elements this year that could impact the city’s economic development, including land use, strategic planning, the city’s fiber optic technology, and sports tourism. Lovell said the planning board’s goal is to study and support efforts “to create long-term sustainability from an environmental and economic standpoint. ” The council and planning board also held a two-hour meeting to discuss various issues of mutual concern, including new approaches for zoning that could encourage economic development while protecting neighborhoods.

– Approved two resolutions supporting state Legislation that is of interest to Edmonds: House Bill 1721, which would prevent the use of coal tar sealants, identified as a major pollutant in Edmonds’ Lake Ballinger; and Substitute House Bill 1489 and Senate Bill 5194, which would ban the sale of fertilizers containing phosphorus, which stimulates the growth of weeds and algae in area waters.




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