Expenses for Mtn. View City Attorney skyrocket
Tue, 02/06/2024 - 2:27pm admin
Laura Wagner, contributing writer
Expenditures have been a subject of major concern of the current board of aldermen for the City of Mountain View for months, yet the sum of money taxpayers has paid to the city attorney has soared. Billing statements from the city attorney, Deedra Nicholson, billed to the City of Mountain View have more than doubled from $1,854 in December 2023 to $4,626 for the month of January 2024.
A recurring item on the January 2024 bill is “exchange texts with council member”, “phone call from council member”, “receive texts and emails from aldermen”. These dates are Jan. 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 23, 24, 25, 26, 28, and 31. The aldermen approve to pay for these exorbitant bills from the city attorney as part of each meeting’s consent agenda.
The reason for this spiking cost is unclear.
Mayor John Krasuski told Howell County News Sunday, “There is nothing that should be questioned of the city attorney that was authorized by any of the board members during our meetings. Nothing that cannot be discussed during open or closed session.”
Mayor Krasuski added, “Any questions should happen at meetings since the attorney is present and already billing the city, instead aldermen are incurring this bill after hours.”
It should be noted that the content of these conversations is privileged, and according to city ordinances, it is the duty of the city attorney to answer any question from any sitting member of the board of aldermen. A recent special meeting of the board cited “legal” reasons for going into closed session, but there were no votes or motions to enter into the public record.
Alderman Vandevort spoke with the News and chose not to comment at this time. He did say that everything he did and does is in the best interest of the community members that elected him and the City of Mountain View.
Alderwoman Brenda Colter was willing to comment but was unable to complete an interview due to illness.