|Thanks to the efforts of a local citizen’s group and some concerned county commissioners, a proposed law governing the Rutherford County Attorney’s office has been rewritten.
“Everyone agrees on where we need to go just it’s just how we get there,” Steering Committee Chairman John Rodgers said.
At issue is a new legal services agreement with county attorney Jim Cope’s law firm, Cope, Hudson & Reed to provide legal advice and support to the county for the next two years.
In order for the contract to be legal, the county’s laws defining the office of county attorney must be rewritten, which takes the approval of the Tennessee Legislature in Nashville.
Since the change is permanent, the Rutherford Neighborhood Alliance wanted it done correctly and County Commissioner Ron Williams wanted to send the resolution back through the committee process to make sure all wrinkles are ironed out and questions answered.
“We ended up incorporating some of the changes from RNA,” Rodgers said, adding the committee made it more clear that county commission has the authority to hire the county attorney and any other outside legal council.
“That authority stays with the commission,” Rodgers said.
Steve Schroeder with RNA is pleased with the outcome.
“The County Steering Committee accepted most of the RNA recommendations,” he said.
But the committee stopped short at requiring a 2/3 (supermajority) vote to confirm the county attorney and appoint outside council.
“Further, the Rutherford Neighborhood Alliance is honored to be of service to our community,” he said.
Rodgers likes to outcome too.
“I think going forward we have as close to a complete census as we can get,” he said.
Next the Steering Committee will begin reworking a legal services agreement with Cope, Hudson & Reed that Rodgers hopes to have ready by February or March.
Michelle Willard can be contacted at 615-869-0816 or email@example.com.