Did the city miss a chance to bring in a new perspective?

In Hamtramck, some things are too easily predictable.
For the past 18 years or so the city has ping-ponged between two legal firms. When the state steps in and appoints an emergency manager to take over, the law firm of Giarmarco, Mullins & Horton is called in to replace the city’s own legal team.
The face of the state’s law firm has been John Clark.
And when the state pulls out, the city’s legal team comes right back on board. The face of that firm has been James Allen, of the Allen Brother law firm.
Such was the case last week when the Allen Brothers law firm took the place of John Clark.
That decision came just two weeks after the state returned local control to the city.
The vote to rehire the Allen Brothers caused a political rift between the mayor and her supporters on council and some in the community.
Councilmembers Andrea Karpinski and Ian Perrotta wanted to hold off on hiring the Allen Brothers and instead see who would apply for the job through a bid process.
By charter, the city manager – or the acting city manager in this case – makes the appointment and then seeks council approval.
There is no requirement to bid out legal services.
But it is kind of strange that the city keeps going back and forth with the legal firms that have been here for so long.
We have nothing against either legal team, but it would have been interesting to see what alternatives are out there. It might even be a breath of fresh air and bring in a new perspective.
But the hiring has been done, and it’s time to move on. There are bigger issues and challenges facing the city.

3 Responses to Did the city miss a chance to bring in a new perspective?

  1. Ken Hissong

    March 29, 2018 at 9:53 am

    The city lawyer hiring is another example of why the city charter should be changed. Any expense that involves the spending of taxpayer money should be open to a bidding process that is transparent. And to those who throw the “you get what you pay for” line, this country put a man on the moon using the bidding process!

  2. Concerned

    March 29, 2018 at 8:51 pm

    Is that the basis you personally hire attorneys?
    Do you look for the cheapest or do you try to find the the best?

  3. Roadman

    April 3, 2018 at 10:19 pm

    Neither John Clark nor Mr. Allen – albeit decent attorneys each of them – can reasonably be called “the best”.

    The $125.00 per hour rate agreed to by Mr. Allen is tad higher than public defenders earn. Allen will make it up on volume of hours.

    It’s matter of “getting more bang for your buck”.

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