BCWA Board Will Need 5 Votes for New Legal Contract
Bristol County Water Authority Executive Director Pamela Marchand said it may be late February before a third vote is taken on the agency's legal contract.
It will likely be another month before the issue of the Bristol County Water Authority's legal contract is finally settled, BCWA Executive Director Pamela Marchand confirmed.
During a phone interview Thursday afternoon, Marchand said that, in response to a Bristol-Warren Patch inquiry, she contacted the attorney whom she had consulted about a conflict between the agency's by-laws and the state legislation that created the BCWA.
Marchand said she learned that a letter had been sent to Board Chairman Allen Klepper, but since Klepper is on vacation, "none of us knew about it."
After reviewing the state law and the by-laws, Marchand said, the attorney for Hinckley, Allen confirmed that "we will need five directors to do any actions, so that means the board will have to vote again for the legal services."
The board is scheduled to hold a regular meeting on Feb. 13, but Marchand said members may decide to vote on the legal contract at its Feb. 28 session.
"We probably would not have enough board members to get five votes [at the Feb. 13 meeting] — we'll only have six board member attending that meeting — so we'll probably wait until the 28th when we have eight board members," Marchand said.
Under terms of the BCWA by-laws, board members have to defer to the state law in cases where conflicts arise, Marchand explained.
In this case, it meant that a 4-3 vote taken at the board's Jan. 16 meeting was not enough to approve a new contract with the firm of Cameron & Mittleman, since the state law requires five votes.
The board had decided to revisit its original Dec. 20 vote on the legal contract after local residents charged that a prior Dec. 18 session to review the applicants had been held illegally.
Marchand also said that the board may also recommend a contract with one of four other firms who applied — Keough & Sweeney, LTD; Schacht & McElroy; Petrarca & McGair; and Adler Pollock & Sheehan — if a third vote on Cameron & Mittleman should be unsuccessful.