PB: Unacceptable Attorney Games
When the village buys a piece of playground equipment for $25,000, an item goes before the village council containing just about every fact one could imagine about swing sets along with lots of documentation on how the choice was made. Many times, SDM has observed that the contract the winning bidder will sign is included in the agenda item.
But tonight when the village is about to engage an attorney who will cost somewhere around ten times as much on a recurring annual basis, we get…bupkis. No tally sheets. No copies of questionnaires or resumes or applications. No background on the selection team and their ties to the village. And, worst of all, especially in this case, no proposed contract or retainer agreement.
In a comment posted last week by David Singer he noted that Palmetto Bay attracted flies with this RFP. Are there only three firms willing to provide legal services to this chaotic little patch of Earth? Maybe we need to hold some exit interviews with the firms that bailed out so we can figure out why our pool of applicants was so thin.
SDM doesn’t really have a problem with Ms. Boutsis on balance. Sure, we think she needs to take some CLE courses on how the sunshine laws apply to pending litigation, but this objection is kind of piddling in the big picture.
What is unacceptable – and is a reason why this item should be deferred – is that nobody bothered to prepare a contract for the winning bidder. Are we serious here? Every lawyer executes a retainer agreement with her client and a lawyer that has served this municipality for 10 years ought to have a pretty good idea of the topics that should be covered. Vice Mayor Dubois ought to be outraged given his repeated commentary on this issue.
SDM Says: This village is a litigious mess and we are essentially signing a blank check for legal counsel. Shame on us if we let our village leaders adopt this measure in its present form without the Village People having seen the contract.
Attention Glinda: We know you already know about the Palmer meeting, but for those readers who want more information, former Mayor Eugene Flinn posted the facts on his site South Dade Updates.