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Thursday, August 23, 2007

Preswick Glen - How many lawyers does it take to....

A small article on page 4 of the Local section of the August 23, 2007 Observer Dispatch caught my eye - N. Hartford school district hires help for counsel.

The New Hartford School District hired Attorney Bill Ryan to help Daniel Vincelette, the town's legal counsel, on matters concerning Preswick Glen. According to the article, School Superintendent Dan Gilligan said the school district has unique interests, and it is best in such cases to have two attorneys on board.

What unique interests does the school have that the town doesn't? Very strange...

Anyway, this is the second time that the Observer Dispatch has reported that the school was hiring their own attorney in the Preswick Glen lawsuit. July was the first time this was mentioned in the paper.

On July 31, 2007, Ed Wiatr and I had a meeting with Dan Gilligan, Superintendent of New Hartford Central School and Robert Nole, Assistant Superintendent/Business Office. That meeting took place shortly after the Observer Dispatch first reported that the school was hiring their own attorney to represent them on matters concerning Preswick.

Naturally, the Preswick Glen issue came up during our discussions with the school. According to a February 14, 2007, Observer Dispatch article "Under the cost-sharing agreement, the school district will pay a larger share of the legal fees, around 68 percent, while the town and the county will pay 6 percent and 26 percent, respectively." I asked Mr. Gilligan, point blank - If the school is hiring their own legal counsel, would the school no longer be paying a portion of Daniel Vincelette's legal fees. Mr. Gilligan's reply was that the school would indeed no longer be contributing 68% of the legal fees for hiring Mr. Vincelette. However, since there are now two lawyers involved, Mr. Vincelette will probably be billing the town and county for fewer hours making the total bill for Mr. Vincelette less than it would be if the school didn't hire their own legal counsel. Therefore, Mr. Gilligan felt that the town and county would probably not be incurring any more expense than they would if the school was still paying the 68% share of Mr. Vincelette's legal fees.

Sounds like the old "two can live cheaper than one" theory. Have I told you about the bridge I have for sale?

On a final note - Thank you to all the taxpayers in Oneida County who don't live in New Hartford, but will be helping to foot these bills. It is much appreciated! What with the costs the people in New Hartford will incur to pay the legal fees for Mr. Ryan (the school legal counsel) and to also pay our portion of Dan Vincelette's legal fees, we certainly can use all the help we can get!

Oh, by the way, I certainly have a lot more to say about the meeting Ed & I had with Mr. Gilligan and Mr. Nole. You don't want to miss this - Stay tuned!

1 comment:

Strikeslip said...

If Gilligan thinks Vincelette is going to bill fewer hours because the NHSD got another attorney involved, he got rocks in his head. If anything, it will only increase Vincelette's work because its another party to deal with. The school district is going to have to explain exactly how their interests are different than the Town's to justify this one.