Don’t waste the money | IN OUR OPINION

Forget about it already.

If any members of the Bainbridge Island City Council still hold on to the belief that the city should have a contract for an outside attorney who can offer general legal advice, they should drop the idea like a hot rock.

The topic of hiring an extra — and unneeded, in our opinion — law firm to handle routine legal matters has been hanging around like a foul smell since the start of the year.

Back then, Councilman David Ward hired an attorney from Inslee Best — without the council’s approval — to give advice on how the city could get rid of its city manager.

Some have continued to suggest that this unauthorized move was OK, despite the fact that it was never talked about during a council meeting and Ward never sought the full council’s approval before thousands of dollars in bills had been amassed.

The city of Bainbridge Island already has an outstanding attorney on staff: Will Patton.

Those who have dealt with him know as much. And when Thomas Brubaker, who is the current attorney for the city of Kent, came to offer the council an overview of what type of legal advice was proper, he nearly fell over himself in his praise of Patton.

It’s true that the city may sometimes require an outside attorney for work on special issues; other cities in the state commonly contract out for legal help on complex land-use issues and such.

Bainbridge does not need to waste our limited tax dollars in paying for something it already has, however.

Council members who feel suspicious of any advice they may get from Patton because he was hired by the city manager that the council recently fired should get a grip — on reality.

Patton is the city’s lawyer. He doesn’t work solely for the council, but represents the city as a whole.

We should trust that his judgement will serve all of our interests, whether we sit at the dais or not.


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