MILLEDGEVILLE — After reading Saturday's Union-Recorder, particularly the opinion expressed by U-R’s editorial board, and the letters that the U-R has published, I feel it necessary to respond regarding the events of March 3 that occurred after the special called work session of City Council. I do this reluctantly because in my 30 years of representing the City of Milledgeville, in one capacity or another, I have always strived to be the City's lawyer, nothing more and nothing less. I do not make policy or take public positions on the issues that confront the City and its elected officials. I provide legal advice when asked, assist where I can in negotiations when asked, and I represent the City, its elected officials, and its employees in judicial and administrative matters.
I feel compelled to address the events of March 3 because of the U-R’s and others’ continued mischaracterization of what occurred as a “secret meeting”, as if a meeting of the Mayor and Council was clandestinely planned and held. Such characterization is extremely misleading. Nothing could be further from the truth.
The March 3 work session held by the Mayor and Aldermen at City Hall was a properly noticed and advertised called meeting. The U-R, as well as the Baldwin Bulletin, and the local radio stations, were notified by the City Clerk, and the notice for such meeting was properly posted, all in compliance with Georgia law. The public and the news media were invited to attend.
Prior to the start of the work session, Councilman Reynolds (because he has in effect waived the attorney-client privilege as to this matter) actually called me out into the hall and in a “one on one” conversation he brought to my attention that Mr. Jarrett wanted members of City Council to sign off on a transfer of City funds. I advised Councilman Reynolds that City Council could not do what Mr. Jarrett was asking and I would advise Mr. Jarrett accordingly. I informed Councilman Reynolds that under the City Charter, City Council did not have the authority to direct investment of City funds and that if Council was going to collectively sign any document or writing they could only do so after meeting in regular or called session and formally voting on the matter. This was the first time that l was told of the existence of a writing or letter.