Deciding Who Directs Salisbury City Attorney - 47 ABC - Delmarva's Choice

Deciding Who Directs Salisbury City Attorney

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SALISBURY, Md. - It's the question of who should control the attorney for the city of Salisbury, the Mayor or Council.

"If it's going to be 1 side or the other, we should change it and have one person do everything and the rest go home," says Council Member Terry Cohen.

The topic of a charter change is back on the table, after a vote in 2011 put the attorney under the council's direction.

Now, the council is set to shift that direction back to the Mayor, with a few changes.

"The direction of the attorney should be for administrative matters the mayor...for legislative matters, it should be the council," says Cohen.

The 2011 decision stemmed from concerns by, among others, then council president Terry Cohen, that the mayor's office was withholding access to the attorney, potentially causing extended periods of time without updates on legal matters.

"the reason that's obviously not good," says current Council President, Jake Day, "is you want both branches of the government to have legal guidance as they're developing the laws and shaping the laws of our city."

Day has since proposed the council must have access to the attorney.  While he doesn't think "who directs the city attorney" has a significant impact on the average citizen, Day says the issue does shine light on a greater topic, saying "we need to find ways to be the best managers and stewards of the limited resources we have in government."

One issue the city council president hopes will be cleared up with the charter change...is getting a tighter rein on the costs of the city attorney's office.

That charter change is scheduled to be discussed at next Monday's work session.

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