Solid Waste Board Votes On Attorney Issue

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An attempt by an Athens County commissioner to stop what he sees as unnecessary legal expenses for the Athens-Hocking Solid Waste District was unsuccessful.

At a meeting earlier this month, Commissioner Charlie Adkins made a motion to not have the district’s attorney, Garry Hunter, attend the board meetings unless there is specific need.

Hunter is paid for time he spends at the meetings.

The board is made up of three county commissioners from each of the counties, and Adkins’ motion failed because the vote was a 3-3 tie. The Athens County Commissioners voted in favor, while the Hocking County Commissioners voted against the motion.

According to Adkins, there are times when Hunter has been at the meetings but not given legal advice.

“You shouldn’t be paying someone just to sit there just in case (advice is needed),” Adkins said.

Hocking County Commissioner Clark Sheets, who is chairman of the solid waste board, said he’s not opposed to reconsidering the matter in the future, but the district is currently facing a number of issues — such as how best to deal with the materials recycling facility called for by the district’s five-year plan.

Sheets said not having Hunter at the meetings could cause delays in getting legal advice.

“It’s better that if there is a question, then we resolve it there and move on,” Sheets said.

Hunter could not be reached for comment Friday.