The Bristol County Water Authority board of directors needs another vote to hire a lawyer.
BCWA Executive Director Pamela Marchand said the board’s recent vote to retain Cameron and Mittleman failed to meet a requirement of the authority’s enabling legislation.
While BCWA by-laws state the board can take action with a majority vote when a quorum is present, the legislation states the board needs a quorum and at least five affirmative votes to pass a motion.
Ms. Marchand said she was advised the board should act again by the firm of Hinkley, Allen and Snyder, which wrote the by-laws and enabling legislation.
Ms. Marchand looked into the issue after the board voted 4-3 in favor of Cameron and Mittleman last month. It was the board’s second legal services vote. The board initially voted in December though a decision was made to re-interview finalists and take another vote on the matter following allegations the first vote violated open meetings law.
Ms. Marchand said the board’s third attempt at naming a lawyer will include a new motion, and directors will be free to motion for approval of a different firm.
She also said that although the board has a meeting next week, the legal services vote will likely be scheduled for Feb. 27 when it appears only eight directors will be present.
Ms. Marchand said a BCWA staffer reviewed the last couple of years to see if any other matters were approved with less than five votes. She said a couple of minutes were approved with less than five votes but there wasn’t “anything major.”
“I think we’re in pretty good shape,” Ms. Marchand said.