Daily Bread for 11.9.23: The Council’s Own, Extra Law Firm

 Good morning.

Thursday in Whitewater will be sunny with a high of 51. Sunrise is 6:40 and sunset 4:37 for 9h 57m 19s of daytime. The moon is a waning crescent with 14.7% of its visible disk illuminated.

  On this day in 1906, Theodore Roosevelt is the first sitting President of the United States to make an official trip outside the country, doing so to inspect progress on the Panama Canal.

Embedded above is a video recording of the Whitewater Common Council’s 11.7.23 session.  

At the Whitewater Common Council session on 11.7.23. the council in Items 14 and 15 considered whether to reconsider hiring an outside law firm (Item 14) and an amended agreement for legal services with the current firm for outside work, von Briesen and Roper:

Item 14. Discussion and possible action regarding motion to reconsider RFP for legal services to retain an outside law firm to advise the Common Council on employee discipline and personnel matters not to exceed $10,000.

Item 15. Discussion and possible action regarding approval of the amended agreement for legal services from von Briesen and Roper SC.

The discussion of these items begins on the video above @ 1:09:46.  

Five councilmembers voted to hire an extra firm as their own counsel (counsel to the council, so to speak) in particular employment matters. 

Here are those five: Jim Allen, Jill Gerber, Neil Hicks, Lukas Schreiber, and David Stone. 

A few brief remarks. 

1. The effort to hire an extra firm for the council, itself, began in bad faith and continues in bad faith. In the space of 6 minutes on 8.15.23 Councilmember Jim Allen offered 5 justifications for the proposal. See Allen’s Childish Pretexts

2. No prior council in Whitewater’s modern history has needed its own firm in this way. All those other councilmembers in the past were able to manage on their own, with their own abilities, while in office. It’s only this claque that claims to need a crutch to walk a few steps that others were able to walk easily before.

(That’s by their claims — in fact, this is a shabby and transparent effort to exert pressure against the city administration.)  

Those who have perpetuated this scheme in any fashion have reasoned and acted below the average of our city, state, and nation. In Whitewater, many thousands of people can reason, speak, and act more capably than this. 

3. Modifications to the proposal do not remove its objectionable elements. These modifications — using an existing firm for these purposes — do not obscure the waste and bad faith of the majority’s action.

4. Any firm, and any attorney, working for this majority has clients that have fomented excuses, errors, and strife in this city of 14,889.  I’ve initial sympathy for any attorney who represents so few who are so addled. Good luck, God bless. Nonetheless, anyone representing this band will require from normal and competent residents diligent scrutiny.

5. A reminder: Whitewater deserves better from its common council majority; this city is better than its council majority. No one should feel bad about Whitewater because of these few. We are a beautiful city, and our people can do much more than this fumbling and stumbling band. 

There will be twists and turns ahead. 

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A Town Squire
8 months ago

Funny clip about the law firm.
Allen acts like his problem is solved. 5 to 2!
Nah buddy its not solved.
The whole idea is rotten.
These five look like a jv team.

New attendee
8 months ago

As I sit by the dying embers of my homestead hearth, my hand trembles to record the latest folly of our esteemed council. They, in their infinite wisdom, have summoned forth a new battalion of barristers, to navigate the treacherous byways of the bureaucratic wilderness, a tangled thicket stirred up by the relentless march of the Allen brigade. This, a most impractical sortie, is waged in the name of the grand potentate of property, General Landlord, and his trusty squire, Sir Lobbyist of the Order of Eternal Influence.

Should my heart cease its labored beating amidst these trying times, let it be inscribed upon my tombstone that it was not the cannonade of these insufferable fools that struck me down as I sought to bear witness and report back. No, ’twas the sheer repeated spectacle of our council’s capers, a veritable circus of incompetence, that delivered a blow most fatal. I now commend my soul to Providence, and lay in hope that our corn may yet wave and our cows low in peace, free from the calamity of council’s confounding crusade.

As the twilight of common sense descends upon our council chambers, I lay down my pen, the instrument of my torment, and prepare to retreat into the quietude of simpler things and depart with this benediction: May your coffers be as full as your minutes are long, and may your ordinances be as sound as your judgments are strong. Adieu, adieu, and may your common sense not be as common as our council.

New attendee
Reply to  JOHN ADAMS
8 months ago

Council’s choice ignites,
Whispers through Whitewater’s night,
Dissent takes its flight.