The Caliente City Council met last Friday, June 20, to discuss the possible hire of a new city attorney, which was Dylan Frehner, with a three month transition period from John Brown, current City Attorney.
Five proposals were offered at the meeting prior from four local lawyers and Brown. Mayor Stana Hurlburt said she had come up with four options, and with the proposals offered, found something that would work with the budget.
“It looks like what would fall within our budget and be most beneficial to the City is to pay you [John Brown] for three months,” for a transition period to help provide assistance for the new attorney, Dylan Frehner, to get acquainted with what is going on. During those three months, Frehner agreed to charge a little less of his flat rate fee per month.
Brown said via telephone at the meeting, “It’s important that the City is in good hands. I feel very confident the City is in good hands by hiring Dylan [Frehner],” who Brown had endorsed a couple weeks prior.
Councilman Cody Christensen said, “The main reason we’re looking for a different attorney is we’re trying to curb some of the costs of litigation.”
Hurlburt told the Record later, the City has incurred lots of litigation fees for fighting for water rights in Caliente.
Frehner said the transition period was, “a good stepping stone.”
Frehner, who has attended as many of the Caliente City Council meetings as he could said he, “has a pretty good feel about what’s going on, but I haven’t seen all the paperwork that’s gone back and forth,” in regards to litigation. “With budget concerns, it’s the best way to go,” he said.
Before voting on the decision, Mayor Hurlburt asked if the other attorneys who had made proposals at the last meeting wished to submit revisions. Matthew D. Carling was not present at the meeting but attorney Greg Barlow was along with Franklin Katschke. Barlow said he did not revise his proposal. Katschke said from the original proposal of a flat rate and extra fees for extra litigation, he would be willing to put a cap on charges.
The council unanimously voted to hire Frehner at a cheaper monthly flat fee for his first three months, along with John Brown at a slightly reduced figure for three months. After the transition period, Frehner would go to his originally proposed rate of $5,000 per month.