Town Board delays hiring a city attorney

By Jeff Shultz

Publisher

Marc Thompson was named the acting police chief and there was no decision on hiring a new city attorney during last Thursday’s, October 24, special meeting of the Maysville Town Board. The special meeting was more civil than previous meetings, though discussion on hiring a new city attorney got tense for a while. The agenda called for three executive sessions to begin the meeting. Town Board member Cathy Nobles requested the board take up the hiring of Scott Spratt first before going into executive session. “I feel it’s important to have legal representation during the executive sessions,” Nobles told the board. After some discussion, Nobles moved the board first discuss hiring Spratt before the executive sessions. The motion received a second and was carried by a 3-2 vote with Mayor Earl Morton and board member David Uhles voting against the motion. Uhles began the discussion by stating the move to hire Spratt was “politically motivated” and asked why the board isn’t following normal hiring practices. “We have never hired someone like this. We should advertise it and try to get two or three candidates to consider at our next meeting,” Uhles stated. Nobles asked Spratt if he could give the board some information about himself. Spratt stated he was a member of the Oklahoma Bar Association and he was familiar with municipality laws. When asked what he would charge the city for legal work Spratt said his rate is $225 per hour. After questioning Spratt, Uhles again objected to the agenda item. “Why are we interviewing him (Spratt) in an open meeting,” he stated. “We usually do that in executive session. We’re not following our normal protocol on matters like this,” he said. After more discussion, the item was tabled so the board can advertise the city attorney vacancy and take the matter up during their November board meeting. “Hopefully we’ll have two or three candidates to interview by then,” Uhles added. The board then addressed the three executive sessions at the top of the agenda. After the lengthy executive session, board members voted not to take any disciplinary action on Marc Thompson, since Mayor Morton had already written him up. Board members also named Thompson as acting police chief and placed him on a 90-day probation. The vote to make Thompson acting police chief was 3-2 with Morton and Uhles voting against the motion.