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EDITORIAL: Effective Town Counsel Protects Government & Townspeople

Town Manager Mark Haddad deserves praise for working closely with Town Counsel Brooks & Derensis to expand the availability of legal advice for town officials and departments heads. Town counsel will now offer regular monthly hours at Town Hall for officials to meet with the town’s attorneys. This change offers the opportunity to receive needed legal direction on a flexible and timely basis, making government more responsive.
     Town Counsel is an important partner for the town, providing clarification and due process protection for voters on Town Meeting procedures as well as working closely with officials and boards to ensure that decisions are in the best legal interest of the town. It is important for both officials and voters know that they can trust the legal opinions received from town counsel. We believe that that has been one of the most important positives coming from the town’s relationship with Brooks & Derensis. And as these new monthly hours indicate, that trust is only growing and deepening.
     The Select Board also deserves kudos for supporting Haddad’s recommendation to rescind their vote to issue a new RFP for Town Counsel in November and Selectman Degen deserves credit for his original initiative to review the town’s legal services contract.
     We believe the firm of Brooks & Derensis is a real asset to the town with a presence not only at Town Meeting but also at Select Board meetings when there are relevant issues on the agenda.
     Brooks & Derensis has responded to the needs of the Select Board on policies as well other issues and providing direction to departments, boards and committees in a forthright and legally sound basis. As a bonus, Select Board member John Giger, pointed out that Brooks & Derensis has reduced legal costs for the town.
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