Notter Suggests: Give New School Attorney Longer Contract


Superintnendent James Notter says the next School Board attorney needs some job insurance.

Notter has suggested any new general counsel that is hired be given a three-year contract, rather than the two-year contract School Board members were considering.

The letter requesting proposals from lawyers is scheduled to be debated Tuesday.

The reason for Notter’s generosity?

“It is difficult to uproot yourself (and family), sell your home and move to Broward when you have to accept a short-term two (2) year contract, Notter writes School Board members in a memo.

Of course, most private legal clients can fire their attorney at will.   Government is different.

Notter said the longer period for a contract would “further enhance the applicant pool. 

He is probably right. 

I do believe that with outgoing General Counsel Ed Marko out of the way, the School Board will get lots of applicants.  Some School Board members suspect that lawyers refused to apply earlier this year because they didn’t believe Marko was leaving.

One factor working in the School Board’s favor is the economy. The legal profession is not rolling in the dough it once was. Even veterans are scrapping for fees.

One well-known local attorney told me his billings are down by one-third in two years.  Some governments are freezing salaries or laying off lawyers.

I believe the School Board should take applications from lawyers who have experience in government law, even if they now work for a private firm.  Many governments are represented by private attorneys, who may have a different view about meeting payrolls and holding down costs.

Hey, what is Stuart Michelson doing after the New Year?  It appears that he won’t be Sunrise city attorney anymore.  

Only kidding!

Robert Soloff, an attorney making recommendations about the hiring process, also makes a very good suggestion in a second memo.  He says the School Board should ask the Broward Bar, state education associations and other legal groups for help in picking the new attorney.

What about a retired judge?  Or a retired attorney or one who is winding down his practice? 

So far, it looks like the School Board is on the right path.  Whether that path leads them to a good choice remains to be seen.

4 Responses to “Notter Suggests: Give New School Attorney Longer Contract”

  1. Plenty To Choose From says:

    There will be no shortage of qualified applicants. They should pick the best they can find and allow that person to earn their tenure just like anybody else. Notter is just looking to create a precident for when his own contract comes up.

  2. notalawyer says:

    What difference how many years the contact is? Did Marko have a 42 year contract. It appears that the job has been very stable. I would not call the Lead School Board Attorney’s job a revolving door. If the person that they hire works out well then he will have a long career. If he doesn’t work out, well don’t let the door hit him/her on the way out. He/She should have a one year contract just like a teacher.

  3. Amazing Karnack says:

    Karnack says wow Don Jimmy speaks. Karnack was wondering if Don Jimmy was trying to outdo Sitsonhishands for doing and saying nothing. Karnack has heard all of the goofy blathering about how the Big Cheese Lady may not have done anything illegal concerning the Chaits, Karnack says riiiiiiiigggggggghhhhhhht. Karnack says ponder this scenario and consider the fact that while the Big Cheese Lady was pressuring staff below Don Jimmy to get the item on the agenda, it is actually Don Jimmy’s agenda. Karnack says that’s right not the Board’s agenda Don Jimmy’s agenda.

    Karnack says let us assume for a moment that the Big Cheese Lady thought that giving the Chaits a 500k break for mitigation fees was in the best interest of the school children. Karnack says OK I know if you’re gonna buy that I got some swamp land in Florida I would like to sell you. Karnack says oops Karnack made a funny, the Boards already been there done that. Karnack says Tom Fur Coates the staff member who is responsible for advising Don Jimmy and the Board on real estate matters is on the record as stating this was a bad deal and an unnecessary gift to the Chaits. Karnack says so how did the item still get on the agenda. Karnack says Don Jimmy apparently under oath says he does not recollect getting a call from The Big Cheese.

    Karnack says if that is true and his own staff was recommending against it how did it still end up on Don Jimmy’s agenda. Karnack says did Don Jimmy believe that giving the Chaits a 500k gift was in the best interest of the children. Karnack says if so please explain that to all of us Don. Karnack says and when the item did not get pulled for discussion and the Big Cheese got up and exited stage left the rest of the puppets did not feel it was necessary to discuss how the gift would help the children, nor did Don Jimmy demand an explanation for something he had to agree with to be placed on the agenda and discussed with his senior staff prior to the actual Board meeting with his illustrious Executive Leadership Team.

    Karnack says so you see it is simple the Chaits knew it would take a lot of grease to make this deal happen. Karnack says after all you are taking 500k from the children to give to rich developers, you would think our high paid staffers would have some tough questions. Karnack says they brought insurance when they hired Mitch. Turned out that was a smart move, because they couldn’t buy Tom Fur Coates so that is when they trot out their secret weapon good ole Mitch. Karnack says you have to know that the Big Cheese did not want to have to get involved personally in this that is why she was so pissed at Fur Coates. Karnack says she had to pressure Coates and his staff. Karnack says she did that with Barney and ultimately Don Jimmy who had to agree with it to make his agenda. Karnack says so now you have Barney, Don Jimmy, the Executive Leadership Team, and the rest of the puppets all agreeing that this is a good deal for the children.

    Karnack says that my friends is the text book definition of a conspiracy. Karnack says so what was the quid pro quo. Karnack says Barney and Don Jimmy get to keep their pathetic ass kissing jobs while the puppets will get the Big Cheese vote when they need it for one of their issues. Karnack says the locomotive breath is all around us now and it smells like RICO to me. Karnack says the train goes clickity clack, clickity clack, clickity clack.

  4. G.B. says:

    Now that Marko is gone. Notter needs to go. Notter ABSOLUTELY has to go and the votes to that end are starting to line up.
    Behold the new majority.