A Salida City Council work session was held on Aug. 14, at which council members had planned to discuss their views on procedures for directing the City Attorney and for reviewing his work and bills. The session was preempted when the Mayor invited the City Attorney, Ben Kahn, to lead the discussion. For nearly two hours, as Kahn explained the protocol he envisioned for the City’s supervision of him, all dialog among council members was limited. While Kahn did invite individual council members to confer with him to present their comments, that was to be in private, out of the view of the public. See YouTube Video and transcript.
During his presentation, Kahn advised Council that, in his view, the Mayor had complete authority to direct the City Attorney and that Council had no power to overrule him. He said the Mayor had full advance knowledge of, and approved of, everything Kahn did.
The task remains for Council to exercise responsibility in directing and controlling the City Attorney and in overseeing the quality and cost of his work. His compensation is on track to reach ½ million dollars by October.