Friday, January 23, 2015

Response to the Mayor's Veto

This afternoon, Mayor William Hallenbeck vetoed a Common Council resolution that would have allowed the Council to retain its own attorney to advise them in matters before them. The mayor had asked for a written opinion from corporation counsel, Carl Whitbeck, on whether or not the charter allowed this. Whitbeck's opinion was that it did. In spite of this, the mayor vetoed the resolution. 

The full text of Whitbeck's statement may be seen here. The full text the mayor's veto may be seen here. What follows is Common Council president Don Moore's response to the veto.
In football, they would call the Mayor's veto of the Council attorney resolution moving the goal posts. The Mayor requested and the entire Council, even Aldermen who didn't vote for the resolution, agreed that they would accept an opinion from the City's senior corporation counsel, Carl Whitbeck, on the legality of the resolution. Mr. Whitbeck, hired by the Mayor, is as knowledgable and respected an attorney as can be found in Hudson, as is his law firm. But the Corporation Counsel's unequivocal opinion wasn't what the Mayor wanted to hear, so he ignores it, even misinterprets it. How do you work with someone who doesn't want to play by the rules when they are spelled out for him?
The Mayor raises the false issue of additional cost. The Council resolution very specifically does not increase costs. It does reduce the compensation to be paid the assistant corporation counsel who will have substantially reduced responsibilities from the position paid the same amount last year, $27,500. You do half the work, you don't get paid the same compensation. Am I missing something?


  1. No city council ever needed an attorney to increase people's liberty.