Residents question the need for attorney at Oskaloosa city meetings
by Dennis Sharkey
Oskaloosa Mayor Mike Boyd said last week that many residents are expressing concerns about attorneys Mike and Jan Hayes at city council meetings.
Boyd brougt the issue up before the council approved a new contract with Hayes & Hayes for attorney services.
The contract pays the firm $6,000 a year for 10 hours of service a month. The city will be billed $50 an hour for anything over 10 hours. The firm will make $3,000 a year for prosecutor services for the city court that includes five hours and $50 a hour for any additional hours.
Boyd said he was bringing up the issue because of numerous conversations with residents. Councilman Greg Rockhold said he has had several conversations about the issue as well.
“I could not answer that question so I told them I would bring it to the fathers of the city,” Boyd said. “I have good comments and I’ve had a lot of bad comments.”
Boyd said he thinks an incident between Mike Hayes and this reporter may have something to do with the comments.
Jan Hayes said she didn’t care if the council wanted to have her or Mike Hayes present during the meetings or not and that they can function in either scenario. She also pointed out that the firm does not charge the city for any work in excess of 10 hours.
“We spend way more than 10 hours worth of work,” Jan Hayes said.
Boyd said most items before the council are tabled for several weeks before action is taken but didn’t argue either way.
Councilman Jim Faris said there are enough issues that arise during meetings that he sees a need.
“I feel that we kind of do that enough that it’s almost like gumming up the works just a little bit,” Faris said.
Councilmen Allen Wise and Mike Paavola also said they see a need.
“I don’t think there’s anything wrong with the system the way it is,” Wise said.
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