A full agenda was met by a nearly-full city depot last Thursday night at the regularly scheduled City Council meeting for Caliente. Current City Attorney John Brown has a contract that expires June 30, and the City Council opened the position up publicly for proposals.
A new Katschke has arrived, Franklin, cousin to the current residing Katschkes, he said. Katschke said he moved to Panaca, and let it be known that he would be representing Lincoln County in August, after taking and passing the state’s Bar exam that will become available at the end of July. He presented a well-planned proposal, containing a retainer fee for normal legal services, with extra litigation costs, should any circumstance actually go into litigation. As a new resident, Katschke said the City Council could benefit from someone who has no possible conflicts of interest, with only the county being his only other client. Another benefit was the fact that he was local, whereas the current City attorney resides in Utah.
Matthew Carling, current Assistant District Attorney to the county, also presented a proposal. He stated he had a history with the county’s legal councils, working with the District Attorney and former DA Phillip Dunleavy. He also proposed a flat fee, but stated it would be negotiable, and would include meetings, court appearances, and letters, but also would charge for extra litigation costs. He currently lives in Cedar City, but stated he would be very flexible and available.
Greg Barlow gave a proposal reminding the council that he was the former City Attorney before John Brown. He said he was able to rebuild the municipal court then, and that he trained Daniel Hooge. “I’ve been around a long time,” he said, and has memory of many of Caliente’s issues, ordinances, and regulations. He also promoted that he was local, he knows the staff, and his business ventures are in Caliente.
Dylan Frehner was next on the list and stated that he changed his proposal after their last budget meeting. He said if the County pays a flat fee, that’s what Dylan Frehner’s law services will offer. He said his flat fee would provide business hours once a week at the City Depot, if office space were made available, meetings attended, litigation needed and any extra paperwork. He addressed potential conflicts, representing people throughout the county and how that might affect Caliente cases in the municipal court. Stating there’s only been five cases this year, he also promoted the fact that his position on the Lincoln County Power Board could be an opportunity as Caliente doesn’t have a represented voice on the board.
Current attorney Brown finally stood. Trying not to be over emotional, he stated he’s talked to each of the council members and heard their concerns. He said he thought it would be time to step down, and retracted his first submitted proposal. He did however, provide a new proposal, with a “transition phase,” emphasized. He offered a six-month and 12-month proposal, to help transition whoever the City Council appointed to the position, as a way to give “time to learn the ropes,” Brown said. He said he sought approval from Dan MacArthur if the proposed numbers would be within the City’s budget and, “received his blessing,” to go forth with the proposal. Brown did offer his professional opinion on who he would recommend they hire, which was Frehner. At the end, Brown said that MacArthur requested each of the council members contact him individually.
The Council will be reviewing each of the propositions and will return at the June 19 City Council meeting for further discussion and possible approval.