CLOVERDALE -- Yet another battle over Town Attorney Allan Yackey's monthly bill led to board member Judy Whitaker's attempts to oust the lawyer at Tuesday night's town council meeting.
Whitaker and council member John Davis questioned Yackey's $4,000 tab for September, asking the other three council members why he charged the town for services in lawsuits that other attorneys were already handling.
They also called attention to several of the individual consultations he listed on his expense list, saying that they wanted to examine them further.
Whitaker's motion to only pay Yackey's base rate of $600, pending more investigation, failed 2-3, with Vice President Dennis Padgett, President Don Sublett and member Glen Vickroy dissenting.
Next, Whitaker moved to remove Yackey as counsel for the town, citing the "excessive" bills and what she described as double representation in Cloverdale's five active lawsuits.
"We could be better served by someone more frugal," she said.
However that effort failed 2-3 as well, along the same voting lines.
When Sublett asked whether the attorney bill would fall to "normal levels" once the lawsuits against the town are disposed of, Yackey answered "absolutely."
A lawsuit filed by Whitaker and Davis over the township fire department's agreement with Cloverdale is among the pending litigation.
As is common for the topic, at several points the discussion deteriorated into yelling.
However, the board members reached a compromise on the town police department's K-9 program. Members decided 4-1, with Vickroy voting no, to allow the program to continue.
The board bickered over whether the town should pay for the medical and food expenses of the town's retired police dog, Alec, at a special budget meeting in August.
In the face of opposition from Sublett, Padgett and Vickroy, Police Chief Charlie Hallam eventually agreed to pay the dog's food and Cloverdale Ani-mal Hospital announced it would cover his medical bills.
Alec died at the end of September and a memorial fund was established to accept money to buy another police dog.
Hallam said that any future K-9's would be paid for through private donations, just as Alec was. The town would, however, pay the dog's handler $1,200 per year plus liability insurance.
The council also approved three measures to clear the way for sewer and water lines to be installed at the Crossroads U.S.A. Horse Arena.
Board members voted 4-0-1, with Vickroy abstaining, to approve a variance to lay the pipe.
They also voted 5-0 to approve a letter to the Indi-ana Department of Environmental Manage-ment in support of granting the variance.
The vote on that measure was originally 4-0-1, with Vickroy again abstaining, though the council took another vote and Vickroy changed his mind after Utility Manager Mike Gray said anything but unanimous decision could hurt the chances of the state giving its approval.
The board approved $471,000 in Tax Increment Finance bonds to pay for the lines and road improvements, as well.
Members also approved 212 hours in overtime pay between July 30 and Sept. 30 for Gray.
The money is meant to cover the time he put in overseeing the construction of the wastewater treatment plant, the ordinance said.
The plant is currently online, though it is still under construction, Gray told the board.