|Mayor says city following advice of attorneys|
If only I?had known that the Eagle River City Council does not have to spend money on an attorney for legal advice. No, we could just go to the editorial board of the Vilas County News-Review.
That’s right, they now offer legal opinions. In fact, they will take any complicated legal issue, condense it into a “nutshell,” you swallow it with a large glass of water, (pay no attention to the choking) and everything is OK. See, no need to be “paranoid.”
What am I?talking about?Well, it seems from last week’s opinion, the editorial board feels the advice of two separate municipal attorneys concerning the library should simply be discarded. (Of course, nothing could possibly go wrong with that.) These attorneys, on advising the city and the other advising the library board of trustees, are basing their advice on specifics of a complex library project and they are hired to protect the interests of the city and library respectively.
The editorial board would like the city council and the library board of trustees to ignore this legal advice and hand the project to a local firm without any negotiation or review of qualifications.
Furthermore, the editorial board said the council should “back its library board.” Since the library board voted unanimously to purse Request for Proposals (RFPs) for professional services, it is the editorial board that should back the library board — the city council and library board are already in agreement with how to proceed.
Bids associated with RFPs for professional services are not the same as a bid for public construction. RFPs are an opportunity for firms to demonstrate their qualifications, describe what services they offer, provide references and show they can do it at a competitive rate. Any firm would be allowed to compete. Selecting the low bidder is not a prerequisite. In fact, the most qualified firm will submit a contract that the library board and common council will need to negotiate to ensure that our interests are best protected with the lowest possible cost. Why not use due diligence and make sure both donors and taxpayers are protected? Why would anyone be adverse to that?
I am disappointed with the editorial board for not at least discussing with me the position of the city in seeking this project move forward. They did not give me the opportunity to explain the role of the foundation to raise the money, the role of the library board to construct the library and the role of the city as owner of the land and building.
Charles Spurgeon once said, “Discernment is not knowing the difference between right and wrong, it
is knowing the difference between right and almost right.”
It appears some have learned the lessons of the past, some haven’t. Twenty years ago the council ignored the advice of the city attorney and it led to city leaders being indicted with the city taxpayers holding the bill. To this day we continue to suffer from structural problems at city hall that could have been avoided. We should not let history repeat itself.
If you would like further information, the city will be posting additional documents on its website at eagleriver.govoffice2.com.
Mayor Jeff Hyslop
|Tuesday, June 03, 2014 10:01 AM|