Are city and harbor best served by using the same attorney?
I read with interest the recent article in The Triplicate regarding the City Council considering suing a member of the Council and apparently some city citizens. I would like to start by saying that I have no ill feelings toward any of the City Council members, and I do not live in the city. I am concerned about the numerous seemingly conflicts of interest in that article.
I am concerned as a tenant in the Crescent City Harbor that Bob Black is representing so many entities in this community, many of which have such clear potential adverse positions. In addition to being city attorney, Mr. Black is the attorney for the Harbor District.
In counseling his client, the city, is he in fact advocating for his client the harbor?
The harbor is in dire straits if the city water treatment plant cannot take all of the fish waste at low or no cost from the harbor fish processors. Is it really in the best interests of the city to build such a large complex water treatment plant to be able to take the fish waste? Is the City Council getting the best conflict-free advice on this matter?
Will the Harbor District be lobbied to pony up some money for the city’s suit against the citizens as they have a clear interest in the city continuing to build a water treatment plant so they can get their fish waste processed? Is the harbor getting the best conflict-free legal advice in this matter?
In the article Rachael Towe was mentioned in particular as the only citizen other than Councilwoman Westfall and her husband possibly to be named in the suit. The harbor is attempting to take over Towe’s leasehold in the harbor. Can the harbor attorney intimidate a harbor tenant by also being the city attorney and naming her in a city suit?
There are clear legal and ethical issues raised by the numerous hats being worn by the same attorney. As a harbor tenant I have been very disappointed that the Harbor Commission has been so ill-informed and comfortable having such a potentially conflicted attorney.
When there are so many potential conflicts and potential adverse positions among these separate governmental entities, is either client getting the conflict-free legal advice they need and that they are paying for, at this time?
Chris Van Hook
I think this noise ordinance is the stupidest ordinance ever. If the lawmaking folks in this town can’t handle a little noise, so be it, but at the same time I hope they would make these thugs turn down their car stereos that are enough to rattle your bones, so much so that a youngster like me thinks it is ridiculous.
The foghorn is a necessity, I certainly wouldn’t want to pull a vessel into our harbor if I can’t hear the foghorn, it has been here for umpteen million years, live with it!
The Taco Bell speakers, I agree, turn that down, the noise is ridiculous. What really gets me is the fact that the comforting sounds that the Catholic church bell makes on a bright Sunday morning might be affected. A simple reminder that faith is alive and well and they are stopping it? As my 3-year-old says, “That can’t be right.”
On a separate note, why are senior citizens allowed special housing at a lesser deposit even when it is not deemed senior housing? If I was a property manager I couldn’t say, “families only.” Twice now I have been told that because I have children we couldn’t move in because there are “seniors here.” What, seniors are allergic to families? Do the seniors eat the children? Or is it that they want peace and quiet and think they deserve it.
It is really not fair. Yes, seniors have less money to work with, but don’t they remember what it was like when they were raising their kids?