PRESTONSBURG — A dispute over the mayor’s nomination for the city attorney’s position was raised again, during a city council meeting Monday night.
Following a discussion about councilman Les Stapleton’s proposal for a “comeback bucks” program, which would rebate purchases made at participating businesses with vouchers that could be redeemed at the same businesses, city attorney Jim Webb was given a copy of the proposal in order to review its legality. That’s when councilman Harry Adams spoke up.
“Not to reopen an old wound,” Adams began, “but we voted against renewing the attorney’s contract, and now we’re asking him to do some work for us.”
Webb explained his position that the city ordinance governing the selection of a city attorney gives the mayor sole power to select an attorney and executed a contract to hire him. He further said the council’s only role is to set the level of compensation, which he said was done through the budget.
However, councilman B.D. Nunnery cited another ordinance which he said gives the council the power to approve or reject all contracts. He then asked, if the mayor had sole authority to make the decision, why the council had even presented with the contract to review in the first place. He also noted that the council had voted to approve the contracts in previous years.
Webb argued that the council was presented the contract as a “courtesy,” because members had asked to review it, but he said that did not change the fact that the decision belonged exclusively to the mayor.
Nunnery and Webb continued to disagree over which ordinance held precedence over the other. The council finally voted to present the dispute to the Kentucky League of Cities for an opinion on the matter.