January 12, 2016
My name is Suzanne Kahn, and I’d like to first address the question that some citizens still have about exactly when our county contract finally expires with Advance Disposal Service. The court documents are clear cut that all permitted extensions of the contract by Advance Disposal have been used and the contract finally expires on August 25th, of this year, 2016.
I feel confident that our Post I and Post II Commissioners are on top of this situation and will take whatever steps are needed to negotiate and secure a contract with whatever company they deem will best serve our county with a fair, equitable, and competitive contract. And, I feel confident that they will have a contract in place well in advance of this expiration date.
Second, I want to address the years of concern of many citizens that Fannin County has had the same county attorney, Ms. Lynn Doss, for approximately twenty years, and, without ever having a contract of any kind in place. This “ arrangement”, which is all it can be called, has been perpetuated endlessly by each Commission Chairman for the last three administrations of Richard Vollrath, Howie Bruce, and now into the eighth year of the current administration by Chairman Bill Simonds.
I compared the policy of our two neighboring counties of Union and Gilmer to get a very clear picture, and I have all the documents from these counties to back up what I’m saying here.
Union and Gilmer Counties both have had legal contracts, or a Letter of Agreement, with their attorneys at all times, and both counties require complete accountability by mandating that their attorneys submit itemized invoices for every hour worked. Neither county pays a retainer fee. In Union County, Attorney H. Boyd Pettit charges $100.00 per hour plus expenses. In Gilmer County, Attorneys Herman Clark and David Clark charge $110.00 and $100.00 per hour, respectively, plus expenses.
In Fannin County, there has never been any contract or Letter of Agreement with Lynn Doss, and a significant retainer fee of $5,708.34 per month has been paid without any itemized invoices ever required or submitted for that $61,416.78 yearly check.
As a comparison:
In 2014, Union County paid their attorney $23,874.00, and Gilmer paid $38,595.00.
In 2015, Union County paid their attorney only $8,811.00 and Gilmer paid $68,238.00.
I also have the document showing the RESOLUTION that was passed by Gilmer County Board of Commissioners on March 12th, 2015, declaring their authority to appoint their attorney who “shall serve at the pleasure of the Board.”
To say that this Fannin County “arrangement” with Lynn Doss is highly questionable is a gross understatement. The citizens of Fannin County want and deserve an explanation of why this “arrangement” has been permitted all these years. I request, Mr. Simonds, that you explain
how you have justified this through your entire 7 years as our Chairman, and now into your 8th year at the helm.
I have spoken with many Fannin County Citizens who are equally fed up with this perceived stranglehold Attorney Lynn Doss has been afforded for so many years with absolutely no accountability. It is way beyond time for a healthy change in who is welcomed to work as our county attorney.
Mr. Simonds, I sincerely had high hopes that, after last year’s events of our two Post Commissioners successfully making the first few important changes to our county government, you would finally see the wisdom of helping to ethically and morally work with them to make the many changes still necessary to make Fannin County one that is respected for it’s high standards of operation. You can still do that.
If you choose not to, I have complete confidence in Post Commissioners Sosebee and Johnson to be the leaders we need to guide Fannin County with integrity.