Salisbury Council to Discuss Supervision Proposal Regarding Atto - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

Salisbury Council to Discuss Supervision Proposal Regarding Attorney

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SALISBURY, Md.- The City of Salisbury wants to change to whom its attorney reports to, such as to the mayor or to the council.

The last change happened in 2011 when council took that authority away from Mayor Jim Ireton.

On Friday, Councilwoman Terry Cohen said that the change happened in order to stop what she calls 'abuses from the mayor's office.'

Cohen said that she is now proposing that the charter be changed to where both the mayor and council are in charge of the hiring and firing of the city attorney.

"He is not an employee," Cohen said, "I'm suggesting that you need to sit down together to make a selection and a decision to terminate."

Fellow councilwoman, Laura Mitchell, said that the idea to split the supervision could be problematic.

"I think it's difficult when you have more than one boss," Mitchell said. "Most of what we do goes through the city attorney but it's taxpayer dollars that are paying for that so if we don't have a clear line of authority then we're not being responsible with taxpayer dollars."

Cohen said there were good reasons behind making the charter changes in 2011, which only gave the council the power to have authority over the attorney.

"I think when you go two and a half years without an update on legal matters, I think that's an abuse," Cohen said.

Council President Jake Day and Mayor Ireton said they think the idea could work.

"It's about making our government stay in parity with how all governments are structured with balance of power between the legislative and the executive," Day said.

"We are going to make it right we are going to put it back under the mayor's office with advice and consent to the council for hiring and firing," Ireton said.

If the proposal is approved and adopted, it would take effect 50 days after passage. The council could make a decision by July. 


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