VERNON — City Council members discussed the resignation of former City Attorney Kerry Adkison at Monday’s Vernon City Council workshop.
Adkison said his resignation was accepted by the council on a 3-2 vote on May 13, and came after some council members questioned Adkison’s responsiveness to the city’s needs.
“I told them I didn’t see the need for me going to a meeting and billing them $300 to $500 when a 10 minute phone call would suffice,” Adkison said on Tuesday morning.
The council was considering firing a city employee at a special workshop on May 3, and Adkison said advised against the action based on a lack of documentation.
The council members tried to call Adkison, but his office is closed on Fridays.
“This all started with the water department, and people complaining that the city wasn’t responsive to calls,” Adkison said. “When they couldn’t get me on the phone, they said I wasn’t responsive.”
Councilman Shawn Sanders suggested that the city may have to advertise the city attorney position, and Adkison told them he would resign.
“I never have billed them the way I should,” Adkison said. “I told Tray Hawkins that if they expected me to be always available, then I would have to start billing them for every little thing.”
Adkison said he took the city attorney position mainly because he is from Vernon and he wanted to help the city out. “I’m not mad at anyone or anything,” he said. “I think very highly of all of the council members. Mostly, I am just relieved.”
Vernon resident Bill Dobbins asked the council members at Monday’s workshop why they had accepted Adkison’s resignation.
“I would like to ask the city council to reconsider their vote,” Dobbins said. “This has left the city without an attorney, and that is not a good situation.”
Chairwoman Tina Sloan said Adkison was not responding to calls from City Clerk Dian Hendrix. “He was hard to get up with, and it wasn’t just Ms. Dian or the mayor,” she said.
“We don’t need to be paying someone to show up for meetings,” Sloan said.
Councilman Tray Hawkins asked if the city attorney position would be advertised, and Hendrix said that it was being advertised this week. He asked if the ad would list an hourly rate the city was willing to pay for legal services.
“They will submit bids saying what they will do the service for, then we will chose the one, that is the way we did it last time,” Hendrix said.
Hendrix said the Florida League of Cities could provide legal services in the meantime for the city.