Clarendon considers having no attorney on retainer, lowering speed limit on Upper Holley Road

By Kristina Gabalski, Correspondent Posted 2 January 2017 at 10:24 am

CLARENDON – The Town Board is considering not keeping an attorney on retainer, and is also asking the state to lower the speed limit on Upper Holley Road.

Clarendon Supervisor Dick Moy recently discussed the possibility of the town ending its practice of keeping an attorney on retainer.

Moy said the town pays $8,000 a year to keep attorney Karl Essler on retainer. Essler is required to make six board meetings a year, but Moy questioned the need for the expense.

“What are we getting?” he asked. “Not much.”

Moy said he had spoken with Essler about the actual need of the town to keep an attorney on retainer, and Essler said there are no legal requirements for the town to do so.

Moy noted towns in Genesee County do not keep lawyers on retainer, but instead seek legal counsel on an as-needed basis.

The town also has recourse to legal advice from the Association of Towns of the State of New York, which has attorneys on staff, Moy said during Clarendon’s Dec. 20 board meeting.

The town pays $1,000 annually for its membership in the Association of Towns, he noted, and explained that in addition to the cost of the retainer for an attorney, most legal services provided to the town come at an extra cost, such as drafting local laws.

“I’m not sold on the idea,” board member Marc Major said, but council member Allen Robinson said the town could possibly try it for a limited time, to see how it goes. The town has funds in the 2017 budget for the retainer fee.

In other business, Town Board members passed a resolution requesting that the New York State Department of Transportation consider lowering the speed limit on Upper Holley Rd./Upper Holley Rd. Ext.

During the November Town Board meeting, a resident requested that the current yellow signs advising a 35-mile-per-hour speed through the area be changed to white, making the lower speed limit enforceable.