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Friday, August 29, 2008

Milton Spends Yearly Budget In 9 Months

By DOUG NURSE / www.ajc.com

Friday, August 29, 2008

By the end of June, with three months remaining in its fiscal year, the city of Milton had already overspent its annual legal budget.

The city’s legal bills reached $190,000 by the end of June. The budget for the year is $180,000. Officials anticipate legal expenses could reach $300,000 by the end of the fiscal year on Sept. 30.

The city’s law firm, Jarrard and Davis from Cumming, bills the city $150 an hour.
“We dealt with more issues on the legal side than we anticipated,” said Mayor Joe Lockwood. “You can’t anticipate everything. The majority of those issues were protecting the city and the citizens.”

Among the issues that have surfaced in the past year are the city’s policy on sewer, a controversial zoning of a greenhouse, litigation to keep billboards out of Milton, and modifications of the city’s ethics ordinance.

Lockwood said that requests by the city council for legal research also contributed to the cost of the attorneys. Since February, the city has spent between $22,000 to $38,000 a month. Before that, bills hovered around $10,000.

“I assume what happened is, Milton has a lot of significant and substantive legal issues that needed more attention than they were getting,” said City Attorney Ken Jarrard. “The legal store is being minded better.”

Jarrard said he was comfortable with the quality of the service the firm provides the city.
At the end of the day, we have to defend the value of the service we provide,” Jarrard said. “The city has options and we can work with them on those. They could choose to budget more or use our services less.”

The city has received more revenue from taxes and fees than expected, and should be able to cover the overage, said Stacey Inglis, city finance director.

12 comments:

Anonymous said...

Shocker...

Anonymous said...

Okay, let's make a deal....

Before the "sides" of debate get nasty, let's try to keep the comments to this article honest and with good intention. For a change.

How about if we ask questions as to why so much money was spent in legal services, by who, for what, and when. Then let's have a productive conversation which lasts until we find some answers. For a change.

If you want to see Change in Milton, than BE Change in Milton.

-Monk

Anonymous said...

As long as Stacy says its ok, then I am fine with it. She is beautiful.

Anonymous said...

Maybe Milton should make a plea for lawyers to work "pro bono".
After all you have many lawyers in
your city.

Anonymous said...

It depends on what Stacy ssays?

Anonymous said...

As usual, the lawyers are laughing all the way to the bank.

Who is Stacy?

Anonymous said...

The beautiful lady that does the finanse for Milton.

Anonymous said...

Milton needs good legal representation to protect itself from itself as in this foolhardy public display.

"Lusk then asked (the zoning applicant) if he felt the Mormon church had been treated fairly – a seemingly loaded question given state and federal equal opportunity laws."

"Such an assertion (by Lusk) could potentially lead to a costly lawsuit for the city..."

Anonymous said...

We haven't seen anything yet. Just wait until a developer decides he/she has been wronged over the sewer issue.

LAWSUIT and legal fees which we will all get to pay for.

Its fun to say no sewer/no growth, but developers have rights too if they own land in Milton. Thats why it is so hard to stop growth anywhere in America.

Anonymous said...

Well so far from all these posts we have "Joe scratching his head" and "Alan inspecting weeners" and "Tina riding around in a Cadillac"?

What is becoming of this city?

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...

Access Milton, you think this is appropriate?