Sunday, December 15, 2013

Palmetto Bay village attorney search update. Anyone? Anyone? The December 20 deadline is approaching.

This is the last week to apply to be the next Palmetto Bay Village attorney, but you really can't tell from the Mayor or the official web site.  The lack of accountability and transparency from the current mayor and council is truly special.  What is going on in the search for a replacement village attorney?  I wonder if any additional law firms have applied for the open Palmetto Bay Village attorney position.

The December council meeting came and went without any comment from this current mayor providing (or her asking staff for) any update on responses to the pending solicitation to apply for village council. Village attorney is a huge responsibility. It is one of three Charter positions that provide the professional operation for the Village (Village Manager and Village Clerk are the other two)

The interim duties are being very well handled by John R. Herin, Jr., Esquire, who has extensive public and private sector experience.  Mr. Herin also represents nearby Doral and the City of Marathon in the Florida Keys.  He is very well qualified, but this post is not about Mr. Herin; it is about the search, stealth search or non-search, that this council is undertaking.  S0me, including those on the council complained about the initial search that resulted in six applicants that dropped to three competing firms at interview.  Will we have a last-minute flood of applicants or will the council will be pleased with a re-do that results in no new, or merely 2 new experienced municipal law firms applying. 

The Miami Herald reported on October 17th that the Village Council initially decided that Mr. Herin’s appointment would be temporary; that he will serve until the council has time to repeat its search process and find a permanent lawyer.  (see: Palmetto Bay council votes to dismiss village attorney, By Lidia Dinkova). That brings us back to the search process.  Go to the Village Website and you will find that the former village attorney remains listed (CLICK HERE). This may lead some to believe that the former village attorney is still ensconced in her (former) position (At least as of noon Sun, 12/15/13).  Perhaps this would have been an outstanding opportunity for the mayor or someone else on the council to show that they were paying attention to detail and demonstrate some leadership on the council by directing that the web site indicate that a search was ongoing. The web site really does not give first glance conspicuous notice of a search for a village attorney. The entire search effort appears to be hidden in plain sight.

Detailed self-searching the village website will eventually lead you to this posting:

IMPORTANT NOTE for those that are interested (I have personally spoken with two attorney's firms) that have inquired:“Sealed proposals will be received by the Village Clerk, 9705 East Hibiscus Street, Palmetto Bay, FL 33157, on or before December 20, 2013, no later than 3:00 pm, at which time they will be publicly opened and announced.” 

So those interested have just until this coming Friday to apply and be mindful that “Late submittals and facsimile submissions will not be considered."  We will find out at 3 PM on Friday if there have been firms hard at work preparing competing proposals.

For those of you who ask what factors would make a municipal firm not want to work for this current mayor and council, how about:
A council that runs up billing through endless changes in the code or legislation that never gets passed, then gripes about the fees when the bills come due.
A fractured council where an attorney may not want to walk a tightrope between feuding factions.

1 comment:

  1. Ms. Boutsis is still listed as village attorney as of 12:45 Monday. Note the quote "The Village is fortunate to have the excellent services of the highly experienced attorneys of the firm FBM Law Offices."