The Mayor's Legal Team
How many lawyers does it take to try to keep the Mayor and Commissioners out of hot water; lets count?
Proposed Legal Budget - $134,000
By: Pat Hunter
This isn't a lawyer joke. How many lawyers does it take to keep Mayor Doyle Arp, Commissioners and other county officials out of legal scrapes? Answer: Four so far. In the last year at least four attorneys have appeared at various public meetings representing the Mayor and Loudon County and now a fifth lawyer's name is being mentioned.
Loudon and Monroe County's population is similar in size. Monroe County has a county attorney and their legal budget is considerably less. According to the Monroe County Audit Financial Report on the Tennessee Comptroller's website, the county attorney budget was $20,117, for the period ending June 30, 2006.
For the fiscal year ending June 30, 2007, the Monroe county attorney budget was $21,034 (est.) verses Loudon County's legal expenditure for the same period, which was $118,422. Loudon County's legal expense was five times larger!
At least $50,000 was spent on Mayor Arp's public records policy even though the community and press openly criticized his policy.
Mayor Arp and the Budget Committee will recommend $132,370 for legal in the upcoming budget. That's about an 11 percent (est.) increase over last year's budget. With spending like this, its easy to understand why property owners face higher taxes.