SCOTT GOULD of Gould Law, P.C. paused after the Owosso City Council meeting on Monday, Feb. 5. Gould is moving into the city attorney position after a six-to-one vote by council. Gould is both a practicing Owosso attorney and resident. He has been actively attending council meetings for months. Gould was admitted to the Michigan Bar in 2012.
More information on the city attorney position is available under Owosso Code of Ordinances: Section 7.6.
(Independent Photo/Karen Mead-Elford)
by Karen Mead-Elford, co-editor
Scott J. Gould of Gould Law, P.C. in Owosso, has accepted the position as city attorney effective as of Tuesday, Feb. 6, after a council vote of six-to-one to enter into a professional services agreement (PSA) for legal services. Gould, who has been attending city council meetings regularly for numerous months, was recommended by outgoing city manager Don Crawford, and the item was moved to the agenda for the Monday, Feb. 5 council meeting.
Bill Brown has served as city attorney for 28-years and has announced his retirement from the city. The description of the city attorney position may be found under Section 7.6 of the Owosso charter at https://library.municode.com/mi/owosso/codes/code_of_ordinances?nodeId=PTICH, where it is stated, “the council shall designate an attorney or firm of attorneys as the legal advisor of the council.”
Gould is a practicing Owosso attorney with experience in “labor law issues including contract negotiation, grievance handling and arbitration both for management and labor,” according to Crawford’s recommendation. The city attorney works as an independent contractor and is responsible for billing accordingly on an hourly basis regarding varying types of legal services. Gould, as an independent contractor, will work from his office at 114 E. Main St., and will be required to carry a $1,000,000 legal malpractice insurance policy.
The professional services agreement reached with Gould and discussed in a closed session during the Monday evening meeting, was handled in a different manner from the six-month long process of seeking out and interviewing candidates to fill the city manager position or the contracted position with realtor Kori Shook who handles the listing of the city-owned Osburn Lake properties. In Shook’s case, an RFP (Request For Proposal) had been utilized to solidify the process and create transparency when the city needed a real estate agent.
Gould shared that he is “pleased with the outcome and looking forward to working with the city.” He has been working with Brown by offering advice/input for the previous two years.
Other items of business dealt with during the council meeting included a request by SATA to consider a special election for May 8. The current SATA millage is set to expire in June of this year, meaning that taxes would not be levied until July. However, a special election would cost approximately $10,000, with the question of who would pay, either the city or SATA, being a concern. Ultimately, it was decided by council to advance the funding until the upcoming August ballot to avoid additional expenditures. In 2012, Owosso voters previously approved a .3333 maximum millage for five years on all property within the city to go to SATA operations.
The next city council meeting is planned for Tuesday, Feb. 20.