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Clyde Hill Prop 1 and other Council moves cause legal costs to soar 195%

Proposition 1 is going to cost taxpayers a significant amount of money. Just how much is unknown at this point, but we do know some of the costs will include severance for the City Administrator, headhunter fees, higher wages for a City Manager, and legal fees.

One fact is, legal fees under the new council have soared 195%.

As of August close, the 2022 legal costs have exceeded the city’s 2022 $110,000 legal services budget and stand at $146,053 (Link – Council Meeting Packet 9/13) . This represents 195% growth to date over 2021, with still 4 months remaining in the year.  

Why? The biggest expenses have been the search for a new City Attorney, interim legal council billed at a 3x higher hourly rate than previous, and the November Prop 1 ballot proposal to change Clyde Hill’s form of government. Some of those biggest expenses are still yet to come.  The Clyde Hill general operations budget is expected to be in the red for 2022 by -$271,096 (Link – Council Meeting Budget Report – Page 126).

Early in the year Council went out for bids for a new City Attorney. The previous attorney had been working with City of Clyde Hill for over 30 years. An interim legal firm was used at nearly 3x ($630 an hour) the previous hourly rate. Tom Brubaker of Lighthouse Law Group was eventually selected as permanent council.

It is a fact the total costs to change our form of government are unknown but rising.  Here is a link to the legal bills for June, July, and August totaling $56,166 (link to June – July – Aug legal bills). The items relating to “change of government” total $14,000. Estimates of legal costs to change the form of government have been variously stated by council, legal council and staff, ranging from $5,000 to $10,000 to “unknown”. And there are election service expenses as well. However, legal expenses are already over $14,000 and the measure has yet to pass. More expenses are coming. 

Legal expenses have been mismanaged, dispersed and left to increase 195% under current Council’s direction. If this is any indication of what is to come under a council-controlled government, then no thank you.

Many residents have serious concerns. Residents and voters can have their voice heard on November 8th. 
 
Vote NO on Prop 1

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