Warren City Council approved appointments to a number of positions for the upcoming year at its meeting last Monday night.
The appointment of Hill Engineering as city engineer was approved. An accompanying consulting agreement with the firm was also approved. Hill's contract specifies payment on a per diem basis.
The appointment and accompanying agreement were approved unanimously.
Stapleford and Byham was approved as city solicitor. Andrea Stapleford will serve as primary counsel and the firm will receive a retainer of $27,000 for general work. Some additional fees may be incurred in regards to specific litigatory issues.
The appointment was approved by six council members with council member John Lewis abstaining because the firm is a customer of his.
Kersey and Associates, PC, was appointed city auditor at a rate not to exceed $30,000 with an additional base rate of $4,500 for audit of the city's sewer accounts. The agreement is approximately $6,000 more than was paid to the firm for services last year.
There was some controversy over how the firm was selected.
"I still feel that we should be bidding this out," Lewis said. "There are a number of accounting firms in the area. It hasn't been bid out in 10 or 12 years."
"Best practices it should be done every five or so years," council member Maurice Cashman added. "Approve it this year and go out to bid next year."
Council agreed it will proceed with previous plans to form an audit committee and ask it to look into bidding the contract in the future.
The appointment was approved in a four to three vote. Lewis was joined by council members Chris Park and Sam Harvey in opposing the measure.
A revised agreement with municipalities that contract the city to perform building code inspections was approved. The revised agreement addresses concerns the municipalities raised about fees incurred in case of appeals.