BCWA will vote on legal counsel again

BCWA

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.

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4 Comments

  1. Marina Peterson said:

    I take issue with the following portion of Ms. Marchand’s statement “following allegations the first vote violated open meetings law.” It is worded to sound as though the violation was only “alleged”. There was indeed an open meetings violation and they are fully aware of this. The ratepayers were correct in pointing out the illegal meeting. Why does the BCWA “spin” everything? Can’t they just call a spade a spade?

    The vote for Cameron and Mittleman has been taken and there were not enough votes. Why would the votes not proceed to the next two finalists? Just as they should have done at the last meeting, and WOULD have done if Ms. Mack had done the honorable thing and spoken up and advised the board that four votes was not enough to confirm the appointment. She was there. She is the current legal counsel. Wouldn’t she be obligated to advise her client on this issue?

    The vote is delayed to February 27th… there may be two or even three new directors at that time. It will be interesting to see who is appointed by Bristol, Barrington and Warren, AND how they vote!

  2. comn sense said:

    This is all being rigged by Pasquale DeLise II. The BCWA Board and Marchand need a shill lawyer.

    The fact that this has been ineptitude to the highest degree by an attorney with so called “institutional knowledge” demonstrates that BCWA wants an inept lawyer for cover.

    And the Town Councils are fine with this.

    Marchand and the Board have lost the confidence of the community.

  3. ShineOn1 said:

    The current attorney for the BCWA must do the right thing and remove herself from the nominating process. This because she did not do the honorable thing, which was to speak up at the previous vote and advise the board that four votes was not enough to confirm her appointment. It was a violation of their by-laws and she sat silent. End of story.

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