The most note-worthy action was the hiring of a town attorney after the trustees fired their last one two months ago.
After a discussion and hourly rate comparison including some “sticker shock” of the five applicants, the trustees voted 3-2 to hire Bryan Drummond of the law firm of Rosenstein, Fist and Ringold at a rate of what the trustees believed to be $225 an hour and no monthly retainer.
“Because of this, I have experience in municipal law, the Open Records Act, the Open Meeting Act, limitations on the use of public funds, eminent domain, public utilities, conflicts of interest, the Governmental Tort Claims Act and employment issues,” he wrote in his RFP.
His letter also included the line, “the breadth of experience of RFR’s attorneys often enables them to provide legal services to a public entity like the Town of Luther in an efficient manner … allowing the town to reduce its legal expenses.”
Drummond won’t be expected to attend meetings but will be available for consultation. Trustees Cecelia Taft and Ron Henry commented that the town had run up large legal expenses in the past with individual trustees calling the attorney repeatedly on various issues.
In other action:
- APPROVED town budget summary of $702,000. A public hearing before the regular board meeting brought few residents to ask questions
- APPROVED the sale of the town-owned building at 112 S Main
- APPROVED gifting of a ham or turkey to 33 total town employees (including Public Works employees) and firefighter volunteers
- TABLED the implementation of a new fuel security system to improve accountability at the town’s gas tank until more bids are received
- APPROVED after Executive Session; hiring of police officer Andrew Stevens for $13.50 an hour
- APPLAUDED the award given to firefighter John Brown Sr from Enable Midstream Energy & Utility for his service – award included a $1,000 check to the fire department (and OU football tickets!).