Cloverdale council addresses bill

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

CLOVERDALE -- The subject of an unpaid bill the Cloverdale Town Council received from current attorney Allen Yackey came up again Tuesday at a special meeting the board had scheduled.

Board President Don Sublett began discussion about the bill regarding his concern that the town had not paid Yackey in full.

He said he was disappointed that the council had not paid Yackey a bill of $8,314.50 for services rendered.

Cloverdale clerk/treasurer Patti Truax said the town had paid $1,301.66 to Yackey for services so far, but added he had not been paid for specific litigation matters yet.

Some council members were concerned about some of the items listed on the bill.

At the council's monthly meeting, board member Judy Whitaker expressed disappointment that the bill from Yackey included several items that were not specific in nature.

She also expressed concern regarding the original agreement she believed the town had entered into with Yackey.

On Tuesday, Whitaker said it was her understanding that the board signed a contract with Yackey to serve as town attorney on March 1. However, she said the bill the town recently received was for services through February.

In December, the board voted 3-2 in favor of selecting Yackey to replace outgoing attorney Scott Hoff, at a retainer fee of $7,000. However, Whitaker expressed concern at that meeting regarding an hourly fee.

On Tuesday, Whitaker reiterated her concerns, adding she believed certain items listed on the bill should be more specific.

"In my opinion, you did not do away with the first agreement," Whitaker said. "You have two agreements."

Still, Sublett said he wanted to take care of the situation as soon as possible.

Last week, the board agreed it was in the middle of a dispute regarding how to pay for the bill and might have to contact the Indiana Association of Cities and Towns to hire an attorney to take care of the situation.

"My opinion is (Yackey) is making a real effort to get these lawsuits (the town is facing) settled," Sublett said.

"In my opinion, it's sloppy," Whitaker said. "I like to be fully-prepared for what comes to me."

Again, Sublett said he wanted to resolve the situation as soon as possible.

"If an attorney says we should pay it, we should pay it," Davis said. "But I'd like an attorney's opinion."

Meanwhile, the board voted 4-1 to send two letters to Indiana Department of Environmental Management official Barbara McDowell, with Davis voting no on the measure.

The letters were to be discussed at the board's monthly meeting, but were not.

On Tuesday, Sublett told the board one letter concerned a grinder pump at the Altra Indiana LLC 147-acre ethanol production faciility in Cloverdale. He added the other letter concerned a water main extension and sanitary sewer force main for the plant.

Sublett told the board he was told by McDowell that she wanted the letters worded differently than they were originally. After rewording the letters, he only needed permission from the board to send the letters to her.

According to Sublett, he was informed by McDowell that the letters had to come from the town council.

The board originally voted 3-2 in favor of sending the reworded letters, but ammended the motion to check project numbers for both items and to check the dates on both letters, since they were dated prior to Tuesday's meeting.

In other business, the board:

  • Voted Davis to serve as Safety Board President and Sublett as Safety Board Vice President in a Safety Board meeting prior to the special meeting Tuesday.

    Whitaker made the motion to nominate the board members to the positions because she said she felt the safety board needed a chairman.

    "You have the experience," Sublett asked Davis.

    "I'm quite versed," Davis said.

    Whitaker added she believed a chairman was needed for the board in order to avoid procedural errors in the future.

    The board voted 3-0-1 with board member Glen Vickroy abstaining. Padgett was not at the first meeting.

    The purpose of a safety board is to raise questions and concerns regarding police forces.

    The board meets regularly on the second Tuesday of each month. Its next meeting is scheduled for 7 p.m., April 10.

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