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 Did Mr. Lang cause liability to the city?

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Lady Hawk
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PostSubject: Did Mr. Lang cause liability to the city?   Thu Aug 06, 2009 11:52 am

At the Ortonville City Council meeting (8/3/09) City Adminsitrator David Lang brought to the council an issue with the Too Mad Cafe corner owned by the EDA. The EDA had conducted a beartification project of the corner and put in dirt and grass. There is now a problem with a water line leaking. Evidently the water line runs under the property of the former cafe and not under the city street. This leak is causing problems for the bearty shop owned by Mark and Dawn Hughes. They were asking the EDA for a temporary easement to access the water line.

Mr. Lang informed the City Council that the leak was not the fault of the EDA or the agents who worked on the lot in the beautification project. The EDA attorney MR. Watson drafted a temporary easement to allow the Hughes to look for the leak on the Too Mad Corner lot and if it is there to fix it. The contract that Mr. Watson wrote clearly stated tha the EDA was not responsible for any costs or expenses in Item 2 of the contract. See Original contract here. (The hand written notes are mine. They were made as the meeting took place.)

Mr. Lang informed the City Council that Item 2 needed to be changed. He told the council that this was all done at the end of the day and he couldn't get a hold of Mr. Watson to tell him about the needed change and so he changed the contract himself. See changed contract here.

Mr. Watson wrote:
"The EDA shall not be responsible for any costs and expenses related to the needed repair, maintenance or reconstruction of any water line located on its premises."

Mr. Lang wrote:
"EDA may be responsible for a portion of the costs and expenses related to the needed repair, maintenance or reconstruction of any water line leak discovered in July 2009."

The contract was made on the 31st day of July, 2009. The construction is taking place in August. The wrong month is written in. How does that effect the contract? How can Mr. Lang change a legal document drafted by an attorney without consulting someone? Even though the County Attorney and the City Attorney were unavailable couldn't he have consulted with the League? Mr. Lang often refers legal questions to them. Why didn't he do it this time?

Councilman Mike Dorry asked who will decide responsibility? Mr. Lang replied that, we are all reasonable people and could work it out.

The adjusted contract is the one that the City Council voted to accept. Is it good judgement for the City Administrator to alter a city contract without consulting an attorney?

_________________

Our citizens may be deceived for awhile, and have been deceived;
but as long as the presses can be protected,
we may trust to them for light.
- Thomas Jefferson
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ls73
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PostSubject: Re: Did Mr. Lang cause liability to the city?   Sun Aug 09, 2009 12:28 pm

Mr. Lang wrote:
"EDA may be responsible for a portion of the costs and expenses related to the needed repair, maintenance or reconstruction of any water line leak discovered in July 2009."

By that wording it sounds to me like it may cover expenses for a leak discovered in July.

It doesn't seem right that Mr. Lang changed the contract himself. If he is allowed why bother having Mr. Watson involved in the first place?

I understand the problems caused for the beauty shop, but perhaps this could have waited until the next business day (Monday) so Mr. Watson could have been consulted. How long had the city been aware of this problem?
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