Mayor: Law director needs set hours



The mayor said the law director needs to be more accessible.
By JOHN W. GOODWIN JR.
VINDICATOR TRUMBULL STAFF
HUBBARD -- Mayor Arthur Magee wants to make sure Law Director Jeff Adler is accessible to city council by establishing set work hours, but Adler said he's available to city officials at any given time.
Magee said Adler is sometimes hard to find.
As an example, the mayor said the city is spending 168,000 in state grants to install new drainage pipes in the Jones Street area near Jones Street Park. The upgraded piping will solve flooding problems in the area.
Magee said Adler did not tell city leaders that an easement had not been granted before work began. He said that Adler should have been involved in the project earlier and caught the easement oversight but that he was too busy and hard to find.
Magee said six easements were needed to complete the project and consultants on the project secured five of the easements but did not secure the sixth. That property owner, he said, is now asking for 1,000 for the easement and assurance that he will be able to build on the vacant lot where the easement will be granted.
Magee said Adler, who also works in the Trumbull County prosecutor's office and still maintains a small private practice, should have caught the easement oversight, but may have been too busy with other things.
"He is a hard-working young lawyer and he is very bright, but you can only do so much," he said. "He doesn't have a set time to be here, that is the problem. I am not mad at him, but there has to be direction from somewhere."
Adler's response
Adler said he is in city hall regularly, usually Fridays, and can be reached by phone 24 hours a day. He said his private practice is virtually nonexistent and his work with the prosecutor's office does not interfere with city business.
Adler said the drainage piping project was not brought to his attention until well after the work began.
"No one brought the easement issue to me. No one even brought the fact that they were doing this work to me," he said. "The easement problem arose because they started the work and never advised me about the easements until they were up against this property owner's land."
Adler said he makes himself available to city officials round the clock but cannot be in the building full time. Adler said he earns about 26,000 as law director.
"Nobody is going to serve as law director and work 40 hours a week with the low rate of pay," he said.
jgoodwin@vindy.com

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