Elmo Town discusses legal issues
At the recent Elmo Town council meeting, legal issues took centerstage. The first item was to hear from Brock Johansen, a law clerk at the firm of Robinson, Seiler and Glazier in Utah County. Johansen informed the council of his background saying that he was the son of Scott Johansen, juvenile judge in Emery County, and that Eugene Johansen had been his grandfather. He graduated from Emery High School in 1996 and recently graduated from Brigham Young University law school. Johansen has been a clerk with this firm for two years.
Johansen had previously written all the municipalities in Emery County concerning his desire to represent them in the capacity of city attorney. At the present time, he is a clerk in the firm, working with Jared Anderson, a staff attorney. Johansen will take the bar exam in late July, and following his passing of the bar, he will be able to practice on his own. It is his desire to acquire a big enough client base in Emery County to relocate here from Utah County.
In his capacity with Robinson, Seiler and Glazier, Johansen has been involved with many zoning issues and laws. His plans are to stay with them until he can break off on his own. Johansen has a wife and young daughters.
Mayor Daryl Wilcox informed Johansen that at the present time there are several legal matters facing the town. One is to create a general plan for the town. Another would involve simplification and organization of the town ordinances. The ordinances are in need of examining and updating.
Mayor Wilcox also asked Johansen to clarify the billing rates that Elmo Town would be charged if they were to sign a retainer agreement with this firm.
Johansen explained the fee schedule of Robinson, Seiler and Glazier. The fees are broken down into three categories. One is the rate for a clerk to do the work, another is the rate for an attorney, and the last and highest was the charge for a partner in the firm to do the work Johansen also explained that this firm does not have a policy that would charge a quarter or half hour fee for a simple question on the phone which would only take a few minutes.
Johansen stated that he would research the going rates for legal work in Emery County before he could give the council firm rates. He said he understands the needs of small towns and the size of the tax bases, which are very small, that they are working with. He informed the council that if the decision was made to retain their firm, that if calls were made to the firm, they should ask for him or Anderson, as they would be the ones most familiar with the circumstances surrounding Elmo Town.
He added that the firm has many good clerks to help with the research.
Following the presentation from Johansen, Mayor Wilcox informed the council that a letter has been received from a resident concerning excess water run off from the city's streets that is going onto his property.
The resident had contacted a private property owners rights consultant and told them that the amount of water running off is increased significantly over historic levels.
After much discussion, the council approved to approach the Castle Valley Special Service District concerning a storm drain plan for Elmo Town.
If the town were to set back the curb and gutter projects and proceed with a town wide storm drain project, this would solve the issue at hand.
The next Elmo Town meeting will be held July 27 at 7:30 p.m.