The New Albany Board of Alderman has opted for trying a new person as city attorney, rather than rehiring someone from the past.
The board voted 3 to 2 to employ Regan Russell, a local lawyer and New Albany municipal prosecutor since 1995, as the new city attorney. Voting for Russell were aldermen Jeff Olson, Scott Dunnam and Will Tucker.
Aldermen Johnny Anderson and Tommie Beasley favored rehiring Bobby Carter as city attorney. Carter was fired by the city and replaced in February of last year by Roger McMillin.
McMillin now has resigned to work with Morris McDaniel, an international human resources consulting firm based in Alexandria, Va. McMillin had worked for the company in Iraq before coming back to New Albany.
Russell has a law degree from the University of Virginia and a bachelor’s degree in engineering from Ole Miss. He graduated from W. P. Daniel High School in New Albany in 1985.
We support the board’s decision to cap the salary for the part-time job at a flat $25,000.
The only additional fees would be for unusual situations, such as litigation against the city.
The cost of legal services had been allowed to spiral upward when Carter was the city attorney and getting a firm grip on the city’s legal costs is a priority of the current board.
The job of city attorney is a part-time one and the board clearly has reiterated that with the new salary cap.
We think the board has made a good choice with Russell.