NORCROSS - In a special called meeting Monday night, Norcross council members voted to re-appoint all retained city professionals, including city attorney Peter Boyce.
In a surprise move, councilman Tim Hopton made the motion for blanket re-appointment, and councilman Bruce Smith seconded it. In light of the fact that the position of city attorney was publicly advertised in the city's legal organ and two applications were received, councilman Mike Lovelady objected saying, "We need to interview both applicants. We accepted these applications." Mayor Lillian Webb concurred, saying "it is common courtesy."
The two applicants for the position of Norcross city attorney were Peter Boyce and Joe Fowler, currently city attorneys for Chamblee and Stone Mountain, respectively. Hopton maintained that Fowler's application was incomplete, as he had not answered all the questions.
Lovelady countered with his concern that "Peter is a good litigator and has experience as our city attorney, but he sat in on an illegal executive session. A good municipal attorney would have stopped the meeting. We need an attorney who reduces litigation, not one who brings on more."
The executive session to which Lovelady referred concerned former city clerk Sue Dennen.
Mayor pro tem David McLeroy said the reason that he "flip-flopped" on the issue was his worry that "we have so many pending legal matters. Peter has been with us for 18 years, and I'm comfortable with him."
Smith and councilman Josh Bare both commented that they had "changed their minds." The appointments will be reviewed again in November and every year thereafter, according to a recently adopted policy.
Back to square one
on Log Cabin
Another item on the agenda made available to the public at the start of the meeting for the special called session was the handling of the historic Log Cabin.
In the regularly scheduled council meeting March 7, Bare suggested disassembling the cabin and putting it in storage.
Bids were recently solicited from companies who could move the cabin to another location, but the lowest bid, $25,000, was not received by the deadline, according to Brad Cole of Public Works.
The highest bid so far has been $39,000. Smith said in the March 7 meeting that "I have not encountered many citizens who are interested in moving the cabin for that kind of money."
Mayor Webb expressed her frustration with the issue, saying that "we have been talking about this for a year, and it's time we decided something."
Monday night, the council gave Norcross resident Dale Marlowe two weeks to solicit more bids to move the cabin. Marlowe had spoken out in the previous meeting about her concern for the preservation of the structure.