City councilors unanimously agreed this week to hire another part-time lawyer.
Tom Conlin, a former Board of Finance vice chairman, will fill the remaining part-time assistant city attorney slot.
Conlin who partners in private practice with state Rep. Bill Hamzy, a Plymouth Republican, is well known and respected in political circles in town. He’s regarded as a low-key, friendly and non-partisan attorney.
But the appointment of Conlin by the Democratic-controlled council puts GOP-affiliated lawyers in both of the part-time city attorney slots. One of the two full-time attorneys, Ann Baldwin, is a political independent while the other, Richard Lacey, is a Democrat.
The appointment of Conlin leaves one more vacancy to fill – the city attorney position, which is also part-time.
The city has faced a shortage of lawyers since the unexpected resignation in May of both the city attorney, Dale Clift, and Jeff Steeg, an assistant city attorney. They sought more help,
Last month, councilors agreed to hire Edward Krawiecki, Jr, a former GOP legislator, to serve in one of the two part-time assistant city attorney openings. He had been city attorney during former Mayor William Stortz’s most recent stint in the city’s top job.
Krawiecki and Conlin will each earn $28,000 annually without benefits for their city work. The city attorney will earn $34,000 when one is hired.
Conlin served on the finance panel from 1997 until 2004, when he resigned to spend more time with his family.
Before winning a post on the finance board – over opposition from, among others, then-city Councilor Art Ward – Conlin chaired a panel that looked into potential reuse of the city landfill.
The panel discovered that plans to create a golf course or park there were virtually impossible to turn into reality, leaving open only the possibility of walking trails in the future. Nothing has ever been done to make the site accessible.
City councilors also approved a new five-year term for Baldwin as a city lawyer.
For more than 30 years, city Councilor Frank Nicastro said, “Attorney Baldwin has done an outstanding job.”
“She’s a credit to the city of Bristol,” said Nicastro, a former mayor.
“Ann has continually stepped up,” Ward added.
Copyright 2009. All rights reserved.
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