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Council’s personal agendas and pet projects cost taxpayers $56,000 in legal fees

We learned in the 10/18/2022 council meeting that there have been significant legal expenses for Council members’ personal agenda items and pet projects. 

The largest expense is due to councilmember Dean Hachamovitch and his disagreement with the City on his compliance with the law and code (link CHMC 17.44.050) allowing access to a turnaround at the end of a private lane, access to the fire hydrant and his declined gate permit.  The line item below (Clyde Lane) specifies $18,825, plus Hachamovitch’s forgiven appeal fees of $7,500 (reported on below, 9/10/2022). The cost to taxpayers $26,325.

Councilmember Steve Friedman had the flagpole wrangling in his Aqua Vista HOA.  The legal fee cost to taxpayers: $12,451.

Councilmember Scott Moore had a signed contract with the City (reported on below, 6/28/2022) to remove his hedge at a specified date (listed as ROW Dispute).  The legal costs to taxpayers associated with him not complying with the contract was $4,290.

The previous City law firm which had a 30 year relationship with Clyde Hill and had been holding Councilmembers Moore and Hachamovitch accountable to the law and code regarding the hedge, turnaround and fire hydrant. Council subsequently sought out and voted to hire a new city attorney. Cost to taxpayers, $12,935.

Total cost to taxpayers for these personal agenda items and pet projects: $56,000.  As we reported on 10/2, the legal budget is already up 195% at the end of August. (Link – Council Meeting Budget Report – Page 126).

Agenda Packet 10/18/2022, page 87 LINK: Agenda Packet 10/18/2024

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