Tennessee: WWTA board member wants attorney out

Tennessee: WWTA board member wants attorney out

January 9th, 2009 by Matt Wilson in Local Regional News

Hamilton County Water and Wastewater Treatment Authority board member Wayne Hamill said Thursday that he is lobbying other members of the board to "phase out" John Anderson as the authority's attorney.

"I do plan to bring it up for a vote," said Mr. Hamill, who represents Red Bank on the authority's board. "The reality is we've got to cut costs."

Mr. Hamill said some board members are receptive to the idea, while others are not.

Last week, bills showing that the WWTA paid nearly $120,000 to Mr. Anderson for legal services over 14 months caused an uproar among county commissioners.

Mr. Anderson could not be reached for comment Thursday.

Mr. Hamill said Mr. Anderson would have to be used occasionally to work on issues with which he had experience. Still, the authority could begin using the county attorney's office for most legal matters at a highly reduced cost, Mr. Hamill said.

County Attorney Rheubin Taylor said he attended the meeting of the authority's variance committee, but he did not participate in the committee's discussions.

When the commission appointed county Finance Administrator Louis Wright to the board Wednesday, Commissioner John Allen Brooks asked if Mr. Wright would look at having Mr. Anderson removed.

"I have not been happy with the WWTA," Mr. Brooks said. "The actions that they've taken this year indicate to me that they're a board out of control."

Mr. Wright told Mr. Brooks that he would have to do more research before commenting.

Mr. Hamill said Mr. Anderson did not attend Thursday's committee meeting.